Dean Lockwood has been a popular guy lately.
The Tennessee women's basketball assistant coach was mentioned in a story on swishappeal.com on Thursday afternoon, listing possible candidates for the head coaching opening at Michigan. Since then, he's heard from colleagues and friends. He even received a text message Friday morning from Tyler Summitt, the son of Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt.
Lockwood said that he hasn't been contacted regarding the job, nor has he applied. He has been amused and slightly bewildered by both the report and the response.
"I'm a little curious about it to be honest,'' he said.
Lockwood, who just finished his eighth season on the Lady Vols' staff, is from Bay City, Mich. He coached on the men's side at three schools in his home state: Central Michigan, Northwood University and Saginaw Valley State.
The Internet report concerning Lockwood came just three days after UT announced that assistant coach Mickie DeMoss was leaving to join the coaching staff of the WNBA's Indiana Fever. It also occurred as Summitt ponders her coaching future after a season of dealing with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.
The Lady Vols began offseason workouts this week. Lockwood said that five of the six returning players were on the court. Guard Taber Spani, who never completely recovered from a knee injury suffered in the third game of the season, will be rehabbing during the spring.
Recruiting also is ongoing. UT is in the hunt for two junior college prospects: Wilka Montout, a 6-foot-5 center from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, and Uju Ugoka, a 6-foot forward from Gulf Coast (Fla.) State College.
Montout visited Arkansas and Kansas State last fall. South Carolina also is pursuing her. Curriculum considerations are believed to be as important to Montout as basketball.
Florida State along with perhaps two or three SEC schools are recruiting Ugoka, who was a finalist for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Community/Junior College national player of the year award.
The spring signing period begins Wednesday.