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Penn men's basketball coach Fran Dunphy said yesterday that La Salle has not contacted him about its head coaching vacancy. La Salle fired head men's basketball coach William "Speedy" Morris on March 9. Dunphy would seem to be a logical choice for the Explorers' job, as he graduated from La Salle in 1970 and served as an assistant coach for the Explorers under Morris from 1985 to 1988. "Obviously, people are talking about coach Dunphy as a possible candidate," La Salle Sports Information Director Kevin Currie said. "But I can not confirm or deny anything." Currie is serving as La Salle's spokesman in the Explorers' head coaching search. La Salle Athletic Director Thomas Brennan declined to comment. "The list of people we're looking at is extensive," Currie said. Currie said La Salle -- which, unlike Penn, offers athletic scholarships -- has contacted at least some people with regard to the coaching vacancy. "It is a private and confidential matter," Currie said. "Only a few people know who we've contacted." Dunphy, who currently lives near La Salle in Villanova, Pa., played basketball for the Explorers and averaged 18.6 points per game as a senior. Dunphy coached at three different places before latching on as a La Salle assistant 16 years ago. He served as a Penn assistant for one year before taking over as the Quakers' head man in 1989. Dunphy has compiled a 206-122 record in 12 seasons at the helm for Penn. "Would I listen?" Dunphy said, referring to what he would do if La Salle does contact him. "I think you're always listening, but I have a great job right here and I love Penn and it's been tremendous to me." Morris led La Salle to a 238-205 record in his 15 seasons there. But the Explorers were just 12-17 this season and haven't been to the NCAA Tournament in nine years. Currie said there is no hard deadline in filling the coaching vacancy, "but we'd like to get the position filled as soon as possible because of recruiting reasons." The signing period for recruits begins on April 7. "I think our goal is to have someone on board by then," Currie said.

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