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Star-Bulletin Sports


Wednesday, June 19, 2002


[ UH BASKETBALL ]



UH



Rigot a finalist for
assistant job at Kentucky


By Cindy Luis
cluis@starbulletin.com

There's some heavy-duty bait on the hook Kentucky basketball coach Tubby Smith is dangling in front of Hawaii assistant Scott Rigot.

National exposure that could lead to a head coaching job sooner than if Rigot remained at Manoa; an estimated $40,000 salary increase; and being part of the all-time winningest college basketball program.

Rigot interviewed last weekend in Lexington, Ky., and is one of three finalists for the vacancy created when Mike Sutton took the job at Tennessee Tech in April. The Rainbow assistant said Smith was going to call later this week to let him know if the job is his.

"It's a very impressive program," Rigot said yesterday. "I wasn't looking for another job but Tubby Smith and I are friends and we worked at South Carolina together.

"It would be very difficult to leave Hawaii because I love it here and so does my family. And we're going to have a strong team back with four starters and some very good recruits."

The bottom line could be the money. Although Rigot would not divulge his current salary, the Kentucky job would be in the $100,000-$120,000 range, or about $40,000 more than he makes with the Rainbows.

"Tubby called to ask if he could bring Rigot in for an interview," said UH head coach Riley Wallace. "His family loves it here but he'd be in the limelight a lot more there. It would be a big loss but we've lost good people in that position before."

The previous assistants were Jeff Law, now the head coach at Hawaii-Hilo, and Jamie Dixon, an assistant at Pitt.

Rigot, a cornerstone in Hawaii's recruiting the past three seasons, was instrumental in signing two incoming recruits in freshman forward Dane Dmitrovic of Slovenia and junior guard Jason Carter from Barton County (Kan.) Community College.

Rigot began his college coaching career in 1986 at South Carolina, where he was studying for his master's degree. He and Smith were assistants on the Gamecock staff from1986-89.

Rigot left today for Guam where he and Wallace will be conducting a clinic at the University of Guam for 30 coaches and more than 100 youngsters.



UH Athletics



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