After Rhode Island men's basketball coach Danny Hurley decided to take the job at UConn, Pittsburgh turned the attention of its coaching search to University at Buffalo coach Nate Oats and Washington's Mike Hopkins, according to a report from Adam Zagoria of SNY.
Oats, who led UB to the NCAA Tournament twice in the last three years, recently signed a five-year contract extension. The contract has a $1 million buyout if Oats leaves this offseason.
That likely would not be cost prohibitive for a school like Pitt, which owes fired coach Kevin Stallings a total of $9.4 million for the four years remaining on his contract.
As detailed Sunday by The Buffalo News, Oats was likely to be courted after UB's NCAA Tournament upset of Arizona helped up his national profile. Oats has been the head coach for three years and his team is likely to be even better next season, so he might be inclined not to leave just yet.
As of Thursday, Oats planned to travel to Albany on Friday to attend Saturday morning's UB women's game in the NCAA Tournament. He did not respond to a text message inquiring about the Pitt situation.
Oats' departure would be an early challenge for new UB athletic director Mark Alnutt, who was introduced Wednesday. Alnutt also is likely to need to address a potential contract extension for UB women's basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack. She signed a five-year deal two years ago and has said there have been no talks about an extension.
Hopkins was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year in his first season at Washington after a long run as Jim Boeheim's top assistant at Syracuse. Hopkins' six-year, $12.3 million contract includes a $2 million buyout if he leaves in the first year.
According to CBS Sports, Pitt offered Hurley an average annual salary of more than $3 million per year.