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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Travis Mays interested in Houston coaching job

The Houston Roundball Review has learned LSU assistant head coach Travis Mays interviewed for the University of Houston head coaching job of the women's basketball program Monday, April 5, in San Antonio, TX.

Mays has been an assistant coach at LSU since 2007; and, he's regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation. Without going into details regarding the interview, Mays expressed reasons for his interest in the UH job.

"I think the UH opportunity is the perfect job for me," Mays said. "I think it's a good job for me. I think, with my Texas ties, I think I can get into the community. I think I can build the fan base first and foremost. Secondly, I think I can recruit the state of Texas.

Mays added, "I think it's a geographically friendly, talent-rich state. Plus, I'm going to work. I'm going to work to win."

Mays played basketball collegiately at the University of Texas and professionally with the NBA's Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks. Mays thought his coaching career would involve the coaching of men's hoops; but, he says women's basketball "found" him.

"Women's basketball found me," Mays said candidly. "I always wanted to be a coach. I thought that I would be coaching men once I retired from playing ball; but, while coaching AAU men's basketball, I got a call from the CFO of the San Antonio Silver Stars asking me if I'd be interested in a position.

"The opportunity came in the WNBA first. I coached there one year (2002-2003). My second year (2003-2004) I became the head scout. Next, I got a call from Jody Conradt. She was losing an assistant; and, she asked me to return to my alma mater. I thought the idea to learn from a Hall of Famer like Jody Conradt about what it takes to run a program was a no-brainer.

"After three years (2005-2007), I wasn't sure if I would return to coaching the men's game; but, I got a call from Van Chancellor; and, he asked me to come and be his recruiting coordinator at LSU based on what I accomplished at the University of Texas.

"Here I am once again getting another call from the women's game; so, I really feel fortunate. It just goes to show you that I'm not in control. I thought it would be men; but, the women's game has found me and has kept me. I've learned a tremendous amount of basketball coaching on the women's side and I'm enjoying it."

Other candidates for the head coaching position include UH interim head coach Wade Scott, Prairie View A&M head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke; Texas A&M associate head coach Kelly Bond; and Houston Baptist University head coach Todd Buchanan.

Cooper-Dyke and Buchanan interviewed with UH administrators today.

The Houston job became open once former UH head coach Joe Curl stepped down as head coach, March 23, due to health-related issues. Curl was Houston's head coach for 12 seasons.