Oregon hires ex-Herd coach Altman

Published 3:06 am Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Longtime Creighton coach Dana Altman has signed a seven-year deal worth $1.8 million annually to become Oregon’s new head basketball coach.

Altman, 51, spent 16 seasons at Creighton, finishing with a 327-176 record. He led the Bluejays to 11 consecutive 20-win seasons before they went 18-16 this past season.

Creighton went to the postseason 13 times in his tenure, including seven NCAA Tournament appearances.

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Altman replaces Ernie Kent, who was dismissed after 13 seasons at his alma mater. The Ducks went 16-16 last season.

“It’s all about players,” Altman said. “If we can attract the right kind of student-athletes, we can build something special.”

Altman’s appointment was announced Monday at a news conference at Oregon’s new Matthew Knight Arena.

The hiring ends more than a monthlong search during which several high profile names — including Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Minnesota’s Tubby Smith — where rumored to be on Oregon’s wish list. Missouri coach Mike Anderson said the Ducks approached him, but he turned down the job.

Altman joked about the process.

“You look at my wife, you look at me, I wasn’t her first choice either,” he said.

Altman is being replaced at Creighton by Iowa State’s Greg McDermott.

Altman, who also had coaching stints at Marshall and Kansas State, is considered a strong bench coach who produces up-tempo, defense-oriented teams.