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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, April 9, 2010

CBKB: Charlotte hires Ohio State's Major

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Charlotte has turned to Ohio State assistant Alan Major to try to get the program back in the NCAA tournament, a person familiar with the decision said today.

Major accepted his first head coaching job a day after interviewing for the job, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on the condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made.

The 41-year-old Major replaces Bobby Lutz, the school's winningest coach, who was fired last month after 12 seasons and Charlotte's fifth straight year without an NCAA tournament bid.

Athletic director Judy Rose wouldn't confirm or deny Major's hiring and said she wouldn't comment until a news conference is held. Major didn't immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

Rose said when she announced Lutz's firing that she wanted the new coach to have a "high energy level" and interviewed a handful of assistants around the country, including Xavier's Pat Kelsey.

She decided on Major, who has spent the past six seasons at Ohio State helping the Buckeyes reach the national championship game in 2007 and a berth in the round of 16 this year before they were upset by Tennessee.

The Indianapolis native also spent three years as an assistant at Xavier under current Buckeyes coach Thad Matta. He graduated from Purdue in 1992, where he was a team manager under Gene Keady, then coached at Pacific and Southern Illinois.

Major will take over a team that went 19-12 last season and returns several key players. However, Charlotte started 18-5 and was alone in first place in the Atlantic 10 before losing seven of its last eight games to miss out on an NCAA or NIT bid.

It led to Lutz's ouster despite his 218-158 record, and Charlotte still owes Lutz $948,000 in base pay for the final four years of his contract unless he gets another head coaching job. The length of Major's contract and his salary weren't immediately available.

After being a routine NCAA tournament participant when it was in Conference USA, Charlotte has struggled to adjust to the Atlantic 10, which it joined in 2005-06 after nationwide realignment.

Matta will have to replace his fourth assistant in the past two years.