Lorenzo Romar, Washington's men's basketball coach and a former assistant coach at UCLA, said Monday, "If Washington wants me, I'm here at Washington." The Bruins fired coach Ben Howland on Sunday.
Despite media reports linking him to UCLA, Lorenzo Romar said he’s staying at Washington.
However, sophomore Martin Breunig is leaving the Huskies and junior star C.J. Wilcox is undecided about his future.
The comings and goings at UW dominated the conversation Monday as Romar met with local media to wrap up an 18-16 season he described as “unique.”
Despite missing the NCAA tournament for the second straight year and playing in the National Invitation Tournament, Romar is being linked to the UCLA job after the Bruins fired coach Ben Howland on Sunday.
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Romar said he hasn’t had contact with any UCLA officials and is content at Washington, where he has a deal that pays him $1.7 million annually and expires in 2020.
“If Washington wants me, I’m here at Washington,” he said. “I’ve said that a bunch of times, but I’ll say it again.”
Born and raised in Southern California, Romar is a disciple of UCLA’s legendary coach John Wooden, even though he played two years at Washington. Romar was a UCLA assistant when the Bruins won the 1995 national championship and became the head coach at Pepperdine the next year.
When the UCLA job opened in 1996, he declined an offer and chose to remain at Pepperdine. The Bruins hired Steve Lavin. And when the Bruins job reopened in 2003, Romar was considered a candidate when UCLA picked Howland.
Ten years later, Romar is once again tied to the UCLA vacancy.
Last year, Romar was linked to Illinois, and the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly expressed interest in 2011.
“I’ve had many of these conversations with teams in the past and schools that talked, and I just didn’t hang the phone up on them,” Romar said. “We talked. I’ve never had a situation where, you know what, we need to sit down and talk and meet on this and talk further. That’s not something I’m looking at.”
The Huskies will have to wait to discover if Wilcox, their leading scorer who averaged 16.8 points, will return.
He submitted paperwork to the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which gives draft hopefuls feedback from NBA team executives.
Wilcox must decide before April 16 whether to retain his college eligibility.
Breunig is looking for a new home after two years at Washington. The 6-foot-8 forward from Leverkusen, Germany, was never able to crack the rotation. This season he scored just one point and collected seven rebounds in nine games.
• Washington received a verbal commitment from Mike Anderson, a 6-5 guard at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri, according to a report on JucoRecruiting.com.
• UCLA signee Zach LaVine, a senior at Bothell High, told Scout.comthat he’ll monitor the Bruins’ coaching search. If he decides to break his commitment with UCLA, he’ll consider Washington.