SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few has withdrawn as a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Washington.

Paul Wong
After deep thought, Gonzaga coach Mark Few decided that he wanted to remain with the Bulldogs, turning down $700,000. AP PHOTO

Few, who has more wins than any other third-year coach in NCAA Division I history, said yesterday he decided Gonzaga is “the best place for my family and staff.

“We have built something very special and unique at Gonzaga University,” Few, 39, said in a news release. “I love my players, past and present, and appreciate their support during this process.

“I look forward to our future together.”

He praised Washington Athletic Director Barbara Hedges for her conduct during the hiring process.

Washington is looking for a coach to replace Bob Bender, who was asked to resign last month after three consecutive losing seasons.

On Sunday, Missouri basketball coach Quin Snyder also took himself out of consideration for the Washington job. Hedges has also received permission to talk with Saint Louis coach Lorenzo Romar.

Few finished seventh in the voting for The Associated Press college basketball coach of the year after leading the Bulldogs to a 29-4 record, the best in school history.

Gonzaga, ranked No. 6 in the nation in the final poll, lost to Wyoming in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs have reached the NCAA basketball tournament in each of Few’s three years as head coach. Even though All-America guard Dan Dickau has graduated, the Bulldogs are expected to field a good team next year.

Few has spent more than a decade at Gonzaga as an assistant and head coach, and the Bulldogs have won at least 20 games in eight of the past nine seasons.

Few has an 81-20 record at Gonzaga. He made a reported $250,000 last season, and Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth has said Gonzaga would enhance Few’s pay in an effort to keep him.

There has been speculation the job at Washington could pay more than $700,000.

Few did not return a telephone message from the AP yesterday. He has stated on several occasions that it would take a great job opportunity to lure him away from Gonzaga, a private school with about 5,000 students.

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