UMass mystery coaching tour ending with UT-Chattanooga's McCall

The public word was that Boston Celtic assistant coach Micah Shrewsberry talked with UMass officials on Monday, but no offer was tendered.

With good reason.

According to sources familiar with the situation, University of Miami associate head coach Chris Caputo also talked to UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford. Caputo, like Shrewsberry, was talking to Bamford for the second time, but also hadn't received an offer--yet.

There also may have been some mystery candidates, whom Bamford interviewed for the first time, with some speculation that Towson coach Pat Skerry was being considered. And late Tuesday night, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Coach Matt McCall's name emerged as a possible contender, with reports swirling that Shrewsberry had dropped out.

But the entire process remained murky, with several conflicting reports regarding the direction Bamford would follow.

If McCall is UMass's choice, Bamford must act quickly to get him signed since the University of Dayton is also searching for a head coach and McCall might become a Flyer target. According to sources on Wednesday, McCall has agreed to a five year deal that will pay him an average of $750 a year.

According to sources familiar with the situation, the deal has not yet been signed, but a press conference on Thursday seems likely.

McCall, 35, is a star on the rise, coming off Billy Donovan's staff at Florida and establishing himself at UT-Chattanooga over the past few years

As the hours passed on Tuesday without a definitive word on any candidate, the mystery about which direction UMass would follow increased, with growing speculation that Caputo may emerge as the choice to replace Derek Kellogg, who was fired three weeks ago, and Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey who was hired and then told UMass officials he had a change of heart and was backing out of the job.

There was no official or unofficial word from anyone that a decision had been made, but the indicators were pointing towards McCall as the new front runner.

Barring a last minute snag, an announcement could come as early as Wednesday afternoon

If there is no announcement on Wednesday, the whole process might be put on hold until after the Final Four, which is being held this weekend in Phoenix. That is hardly the ideal situation for UMass, but Bamford knows that getting the right person for the job is now critical for the Minutemen.