ATHENS — Tom Crean is moving closer to becoming the next Georgia men’s basketball coach.
Crean and UGA officials met Thursday in Bradenton, Fla., where Crean lives. No deal is done yet, but negotiations are moving in that direction, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
It is not clear whether Georgia has made a formal offer to Crean, the former Indiana and Marquette coach. Earlier in the week Georgia offered former Ohio State coach Thad Matta a five-year deal worth at least $3.2 million annually, but he turned it down. A similar deal was expected to come Crean’s way.
Crean, 51, was the Indiana coach for nine years after nine years at Marquette. He took Marquette to the Final Four in 2003 and Indiana to the Sweet 16 three times. He was let go after the Hoosiers finished 18-16 in his final season.
Crean has been working in television over the last year and touring the country to study other coaches.
Georgia first reached out to Crean last weekend, through a representative. The search initially concentrated on Matta, who visited Athens on Monday and Tuesday, but when he turned down Georgia’d offer, school officials quickly moved on to Crean. He was contacted on Wednesday and a meeting was set up for Thursday afternoon.
Georgia fired Mark Fox last Saturday after nine years. It was reported Thursday that Fox was talking with Colorado State, which has an opening for a basketball coach. The Colorado State football coach is Mike Bobo, the former Georgia offensive coordinator.
More on this story as it develops.