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North Dakota State’s Saul Phillips named new Ohio head coach

Apr 6, 2014, 12:31 AM EDT

Saul Phillips AP

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North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips led his Bison to the Round of 32 in the program’s second NCAA tournament appearance since 2009. That success comes at a price.

Just past midnight, following a pair of Final Four games, a report surfaced that Ohio University will name Phillips as its new head coach.

“I am extremely excited about the future of Ohio basketball and I am elated to have a chance to add to its rich tradition,” Phillips said in a statement. “This is an outstanding university in a terrific community. I share the vision of the administration as to what the enormous potential is of this storied program. I simply cannot wait to start working with our players and helping them reach their potential. I want our fans and my players to know that I will pour maximum energy and enthusiasm into Bobcat basketball.”

Phillips comes from the Bo Ryan coaching tree, and this offseason, following an upset win over No. 5 seed Oklahoma, had been rumored to be in contention for openings at Washington State, Marquette and Tulsa.

He will be taking over for Jim Christian, who replaced John Groce as head coach of the Bobcats for two seasons. On Thursday, Christian accepted the Boston College job.

In six seasons at North Dakota State, Phillips compiled a 118-71 record. He will take over an Ohio team, that won 25 games in 2013-2014, finishing third in the MAC East Division.