I spoke with a Western Kentucky official today who informed me that WKU athletic director Ross Bjork’s visit to Louisville last Friday was in no way intended to put feelers out for the possibility of Louisville assistant coach Steve Masiello becoming WKU’s next men’s basketball coach.
On Tuesday, both ESPN.com’s Pat Forde and the Courier-Journal’s Rick Bozich publicly pondered whether or not Bjork’s visit to Louisville – and coach Rick Pitino’s heavy postgame praise for Masiello – should be interpreted as WKU eyeing Masiello for a possible coaching position.
The WKU official told me that “no one was more surprised than (Bjork) about the connection there” and that the visit was in no way made with intentions of finding a new basketball coach.
The official said that Bjork’s visit to Louisville was previously set up during the WKU-Louisville game at Diddle Arena on Dec. 22. And that Bjork made the trip to tour the KFC Yum! Center, to speak with Louisville-area donors and to discuss extending the WKU-Louisville basketball series (which is set to expire after next season) with Louisville officials. The official added that by the time Bjork made his way to media room for Pitino’s postgame presser (something he routinely does after WKU games at Diddle Arena), the Louisville coach had already begun his praise for Masiello.
So long and short here – WKU was not in Louisville looking for a men’s basketball coach, notably Steve Masiello.