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Eustachy says he won't follow Bell to San Jose

The man who hired Larry Eustachy and kept him at Utah State despite tempting offers elsewhere is moving, but though Chuck Bell's first mission as San Jose State's new athletic director is to find a new hoops coach, Eusta-chy says he won't be the man.

"I like it here," Eustachy said Friday."I just want to coach these guys. We've had a good recruiting class (for next season), and I've made a commitment to this area. As long as I'm wanted, I want to stay."

Bell and San Jose State University reached an agreement late Thursday night, and Bell was announced as the school's new athletic director Friday.

Bell told the Deseret News Friday that his first order of business once he starts his new job March 1 at the WAC meetings and basketball tournament in Las Vegas is to find a basketball coach to replace Stan Morrison, who announced his resignation earlier this week. Bell's other immediate task will be to find an associate AD for development, and Bell-hired Rance Pug-mire fills that position for the Aggies. Associate AD for external affairs John Glass, another Bell placement, could also be interested in following his former boss.

Eustachy, though loyal to Bell, says he's unlikely to switch as long as he's wanted by the Logan school and its administrators. "I don't think you could work for anybody better. He's the best administrator I've ever been around. He's one of my best friends," Eustachy said of Bell, who hired him from Idaho four years ago. Bell just finished his fifth year at USU. "But things change, and what's good for one (Bell), isn't always good for the other (himself)," Eustachy said.

Eustachy added, "It's important who I work for."

Eustachy said this while still high over Big West Conference-leading USU's 22-point victory Thursday over second-place Nevada on national television in a tournament-type crowd atmos-phere.

Eustachy, who reportedly turned down millions three years ago when UNLV wanted him to replace Rollie Massimino, said money isn't a big factor to him and that, when his $250,000 annuity for staying five years beyond the UNLV offer kicks in, his family will be cared for.

"I don't think you can put a price on certain things," he says. "One is peace of mind and where you live and how your family is, and that's priceless to me.

"I've had so many friends leave situations they really enjoyed for a little extra money, and it really back-fired on them."

The way he talks, this may be the last coaching job he has. Eustachy says that, beyond his five-year rebuilding time-frame that's being constructed now with a number of freshman recruits in the fold, he doesn't know if he will coach any more. Then again, he might coach until he's 90, he said. "I love (coaching) now," he says. But if the family has financial stability, he says he might rather be his sons' "assistant Little League coach. I prefer to go home to my family."

He notes the way players are in general less team-oriented, and his system of hard work and teamwork is becoming passe. "I don't know if I want to fight guys forever," he says.

As for Bell's replacement at Utah State, school president George Emert made no formal state-ment nor did he return phone calls while at the state Legislature Friday. Paul Norton of the USU information offices said Emert will not address even an interim AD until early next week.

Business professor Mike Parent, who is losing his position as the school's NCAA faculty because of term limits, was interim AD between Rod Tueller and Bell. Parent said late Friday he hadn't discussed an interim position with anyone and said he likes his own teaching job so much he probably wouldn't be interested in the permanent AD spot, though his name has come up numerous times as a possible successor.

Bell told the Deseret News Friday that the San Jose position pays more than twice what his USU job does and that the school's athletic budget is double USU's. Plus, it puts him back in the WAC, where he spent 16 years at Wyoming and Colorado State. He began listening to other offers seriously last summer when a series of articles in the Logan Herald Journal questioned his business and personnel practices.