Search ends with McCullum

After a week of scouring the country for a men’s basketball coach, Athletics Director Lee Roy Selmon has found his man.

Today at 2 p.m., USF will host a news conference announcing Western Michigan University’s Robert McCullum as the new head coach of the Bulls.

McCullum coached the Broncos for three seasons, compiling an overall record of 44-45 and 27-27 in the Mid-American Conference. He will become the first black basketball coach at USF.

“I’m most appreciative of the opportunity WMU provided me to reach my lifetime goal of becoming a head coach at the NCAA Division I level,” McCullum said in a statement. “I’m extremely proud of the progress made over the last three years and the direction the program is headed.”

Under McCullum, WMU reached the National Invitational Tournament for its fourth appearance in 90 years.

“We greatly appreciate all that Robert has done, not only for the men’s basketball program, but for the university as well,” WMU Athletics Director Kathy Beauregard said. “The program has reached new levels of success both on the court and in the classroom under his direction, and we wish him the best of luck in the future.”

This will be McCullum’s second coaching tenure in the Sunshine State.

He served for six years as an assistant to Lon Kruger at the University of Florida, where he helped lead the Gators to the 1994 NCAA Final Four.

McCullum was one of about a half dozen candidates considered by USF.

The least prominent of the possible choices, McCullum received his first head coaching position at Western Michigan University.

“I am deeply indebted to Kathy Beauregard, the WMU community, fans and alumni for their support during my tenure,” McCullum said.

The search started with USF assistant coach David Zimroth and Florida associate coach Anthony Grant.

Grant withdrew his name shortly after talking with Selmon, as did Holy Cross head coach Ralph Willard.

Selmon recently received permission to speak with David Rigot, an assistant at Kentucky, and Dave Dickerson, an assistant at Maryland.

Selmon sought but was denied permission to talk with Todd Lickliter, who extended his contract at Butler Monday.

Bryan Fazio covers USF basketball and can be reached at