Fran McCaffery Says He Has Not Had Contact with Arkansas

April 3, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Hawkeye Nation was thrown into a tizzy late Tuesday night when a report surfaced linking basketball coach Fran McCaffery with another job. He heated up Wednesday morning.

The Tweet came from Mark Chavez, the former publisher at LoboLair.com. He’s been an accurate source of information through the years when it comes to coaching searches. This report deteriorated over time, however.

HawkeyeNation.com reached out to McCaffery Wednesday morning, asking if he’d talked with Arkansas about its head coach opening.

His answer: “No.”

That response did not satisfy everyone. People suggested that McCaffery’s agent met with the SEC school or that he spoke to a search firm from that institution, implying there was wiggle room in his initial response to us.

We followed up with him, asking him if his agent, pets, tailor, butcher or anybody connected to him had spoken with Arkansas or any search firm working for Arkansas.

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His answer: “No.”

The rumors of a McCaffery-Arkansas meeting were further fueled by a flight record showing a plane from Arkansas landing in Iowa City.

Matt Weitzel from Iowa Sports Information told HN that McCaffery was out of town Monday, attending a student-athlete function in Des Moines. He would not have been here to meet with anybody representing the Razorbacks.

On Sunday, April 7, it was reported by Jeff Goodman of WatchStadium.com that Arkansas met with East Tennessee State head coach Steve Forbes in Iowa City. Forbes grew up in nearby Lone Tree.

McCaffery signed a contract extension at Iowa in November of 2017 with a base salary of $2.3M annually that rises up gradually to $3M through its completion in 2023-24. It included a large buyout that decreases over the life of the deal.

McCaffery just finished his ninth season with the Hawkeyes. He ended it third in tenure among Big Ten coaches behind only Michigan State’s Tom Izzo (24 years) and Michigan’s John Beilein (12).

McCaffery has posted a 174-132 record at Iowa and reached the NCAA Tournament four of the last six seasons. He finished Year 9 ranked second in program history for wins behind Tom Davis (269).

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