Texas A&M reportedly is closing in on Virginia Tech’s Buzz Williams as its next men’s basketball coach.
Adam Zagoria of the New York Times said Williams is a “done” deal, and Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports reported that A&M is expected to offer Williams a multi-year contract worth a minimum of $3.5 million annually, saying that the Aggies have no secondary candidate.
Williams dodged questions about his future after Friday night’s 75-73 season-ending loss to Duke in the Sweet 16.
“I don’t think there’s an answer to that when I have no evidence other than what you guys have been writing,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “I have no idea. All that’s been created by you guys. I don’t address it. I don’t think there’s an appropriate way to address it.”
Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock told the Roanoke News he doesn’t know if Williams has talked to A&M.
“He and I have talked a number of times, and I’m sure we will very soon,” Babcock said Friday. “We love having him in Blacksburg and I think he likes it there, but I ultimately don’t know what he will decide. But really proud of the focus he had in the team and the effort. Hopefully he’s with us a long time.”
Williams made approximately $2.7 million this year and is under contract through the 2024-25 season, but he has a $500,000 buyout.
Virginia Tech was 26-9 this season, including 12-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference for fifth place, his highest finish. Williams was 100-69 in five seasons, making the NCAA tournament the last three years. Virginia Tech made the NCAA tournament only once in the 18 years before Williams’ arrival.
Williams was 139-69 at Marquette in six seasons, making the NCAA tournament his first five seasons. He had back-to-back Sweet 16 trips in 2011 and ’12 and reached the Elite Eight in 2013. He won the Big East regular-season championship in 2012 and tied Georgetown and Louisville for first the following season.
Williams was an assistant at A&M under Billy Gillispie from 2004-06. He left to be head coach at New Orleans, going 14-17 in 2006-07 with a 9-9 record in the Sun Belt. He left New Orleans to be an assistant at Marquette under Tom Crean. He was an assistant for only one season as Crean was hired at Indiana and Marquette elevated Williams to head coach.
The 46-year-old Williams grew up in Van Alstyne and graduated from Oklahoma City University.
A&M fired Billy Kennedy after eight seasons. He was 151-116, going 14-18 this season. He made the NCAA tournament in 2016 and ‘18, reaching the Sweet 16 both times. That matched the program’s previous number of Sweet 16 seasons. A&M was 6-12 in SEC play this season, finishing 11th. A&M beat Vanderbilt at the SEC tournament and lost to Mississippi State in the second round.
Kennedy had two years left on a five-year contract. Kennedy’s annual salary was $2.4 million with a $3.5 million buyout.