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Associated Press

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Iowa State has contacted Wyoming officials about possibly interviewing UW coach Steve McClain for the Cyclones' opening, UW athletics director Lee Moon said.

Meanwhile, an Iowa television station reported that McClain interviewed Friday for the job vacated when Larry Eustachy resigned.

Moon said a person representing a search firm hired by Iowa State asked about McClain's contract and personal history.

"He told me he was going to meet (with ISU officials) and give them Steve's background and all that stuff, and they'd call me if they wanted to interview him," Moon told the Casper Star-Tribune on Friday.

Moon also said that when media reports linked McClain to the Iowa State job, Moon phoned ISU athletic director Bruce Van De Velde on Tuesday "to find out what the deal was."

"When I talked to (Van De Velde), he said if he was going to interview (McClain), he was going to call me," Moon said.

Utah State's Stew Morrill, a former University of Montana coach, is also considered a finalist.

When asked if Iowa State could contact McClain without Wyoming's permission, Moon said, "They could if they want to, but their AD told me if he was serious about him, he would call me."

WOI-TV in Des Moines, citing unnamed sources, reported that McClain and Iowa State assistant Wayne Morgan were interviewed Friday by the search committee, and Chattanooga coach Jeff Lebo was to interview Saturday.

McClain, 40, grew up in the southwestern Iowa town of Orient, about 100 miles from the Iowa State campus in Ames. He said Thursday he was scheduled to attend his niece's wedding Saturday in Orient and that the timing of the event and the Iowa State opening was a "strange coincidence."

One of the leading candidates for the job, Creighton's Dana Altman, withdrew his name Friday, according to ESPN.com, citing unnamed sources.

Fresno State's Ray Lopes also reportedly was a contender, but the school issued a release Friday saying he will remain with the Bulldogs. Fresno State said it had agreed in principle to a revision of Lopes' original five-year contract but offered no details.

A source close to Iowa State's search told the Des Moines Register the Cyclones are offering a total financial package of no more than $800,000. The school's total compensation package for Eustachy was $1.1 million annually.

Eustachy resigned Monday after reports about his after-hours activities at parties with college students in Columbia, Mo., and Manhattan, Kan., became public.

In November 2001, McClain received a four-year contract extension through the 2008-09 season and a raise that, with incentives, boosted his annual compensation to $560,000.

He has compiled a 100-52 record in five seasons at Wyoming and won two Mountain West Conference titles. Three times he has led the Cowboys to the postseason NIT and his 2001-02 team reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Wyoming finished 21-11 this past season after losing All-America candidate Marc Bailey in the ninth game to a knee injury. The Cowboys finished third in the MWC and advanced to the second round of the NIT before losing to North Carolina.

Iowa State associate athletic director Laird Veatch said it was possible Iowa State could hire a new coach as early as next week.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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