Iowa coach Todd Lickliter sounded like he didn't plan on resigning as speculation grew Thursday at the Big Ten Tournament about his job status. Michigan defeated Iowa 59-52 in the first round, leaving the Hawkeyes with a single-season school record 22 losses, but Lickliter made it known that he was healthy and still trying to get the Hawkeyes turned around. The former Butler coach is 38-58 in three seasons at Iowa, and Lickliter faced questions about his return with the Hawkeyes.


 

Iowa coach Todd Lickliter sounded like he didn't plan on resigning as speculation grew Thursday at the Big Ten Tournament about his job status.

Michigan defeated Iowa 59-52 in the first round, leaving the Hawkeyes with a single-season school record 22 losses, but Lickliter made it known that he was healthy and still trying to get the Hawkeyes turned around. The former Butler coach is 38-58 in three seasons at Iowa, and Lickliter faced questions about his return with the Hawkeyes.


"That's not in my hands,'' Lickliter said. "My future is that I'm healthy. I've got a great family. I love what I do. I've done it well.''


Lickliter missed three games earlier this season after surgery to repair a torn carotid artery. His teams won 15 Big Ten games over the three seasons. As the losses mounted, criticism grew in Iowa, and speculation over his future blossomed this week.


Athletic director Gary Barta met with the players Tuesday, apparently attempting to gauge if there would be multiple transfers. The program was already hit by key defections over the past two seasons.


Lickliter still has four years remaining on a contract that pays him $1.2 million per season. The buyout is $2.4 million. If he's not retained, the Hawkeyes could lose a four-man recruiting class regarded as Iowa's best in a decade and among the top 25 nationally.


"We haven't heard a lot about (the speculation on Lickliter),'' said Iowa freshman guard Cully Payne, "but I know that I came here to play for coach. We've got four great guys coming in. We've got a great, true foundation, and we're excited for coach.''


Barta tried to lure former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl, a former Iowa assistant, and Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings during the last coaching search.


John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com.