MADISON (AP) Brad Soderberg will not keep the Wisconsin men”s basketball job.

Paul Wong
Former Wisconsin men”s basketball coach Brad Soderberg will be the latest coach joining the job search in the weeks to come.<br><br>AP PHOTO

Athletic director Pat Richter said he told Soderberg yesterday, four days after the Badgers were ousted in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

“Obviously, he was disappointed,” Richter said.

Soderberg was not at yesterday”s news conference. The university said he planned to speak to reporters today at the Kohl Center to discuss his dismissal.

Richter said he hoped to attract a coach to Wisconsin with a “national reputation” by month”s end, and he acknowledged that Utah”s Rick Majerus, a Wisconsin native, would be a prime candidate if he”s interested.

Majerus fits all Richter”s criteria: Solid recruiter, state ties, big name.

“He”s a national coach with a reputation,” Richter said. “He does obviously have Wisconsin ties, and I think those are all positives.”

Richter said he hadn”t spoken with Majerus, who is on sabbatical this season to recuperate from a heart operation and to care for his terminally ill mother in Milwaukee.

Majerus was back in Salt Lake City yesterday.

Richter said he wanted a coach, preferably from the collegiate level, who could recruit better athletes to give the Badgers more offensive firepower, which in turn would augment their reputation in the Big Ten and nationally.

Soderberg, 38, took over as “acting coach” on Nov. 30, when Dick Bennett retired, citing mental and physical exhaustion.

Richter acknowledged he considered inviting Bennett to come out of retirement.

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