John Shulman has publicly flirted with another program for the second time in three years only to remain the men's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Shulman announced Monday afternoon that he is no longer a candidate to become the head coach at UNC Wilmington.
The UTC-released note came out a day after he met with UNCW athletic director Kelly Mehrtens in Columbia, S.C., to discuss the position that has been open since Jan. 29.
"You always have to listen, but that does not mean you don't love where you are," Shulman said in the release. "I have always said it would have to be a very special place to get my family out of Chattanooga."
Shulman visited with then-Texas Christian University athletic director Danny Morrison -- a friend of 22 years from their days together at Wofford -- two years ago when TCU had a coaching vacancy.
"You have to protect your family and keep your options open," said former UTC player Brandon Born, who played from 1992 to '95 and is tied for second on the Mocs' Division I career scoring list.
"Coach Shulman has been loyal to UTC and been good for the community and program," Born said. "But you have to have a Plan B in this day and age of college coaching. I don't think anything less of Coach Shulman at all."
UTC athletic director Rick Hart said coaching changes are part of the business.
"We hope that we can keep the good people we have, and that's always the first option," said Hart, who noted that Mehrtens contacted him before calling Shulman. "In this industry, there are certain things you prepare for and some things you react to."
Shulman did not return calls or text messages about UNCW to the Times Free Press, and the athletic media relations department did not make basketball players available for comment.
Mehrtens reassigned former coach Benny Moss within the athletic department when nine games remained on the Seahawks' schedule. She has interviewed at least six coaches since January, including former The Citadel coach Ed Conroy, who subsequently left for Tulane, and Southern Conference championship coach Mike Young of Wofford.
The Mocs went 15-18, 6-12 in the SoCon, this past season. Shulman has a record of 105-90 in his six seasons at UTC, with two NCAA tournament appearances.
"Our philosophy has been and continues to be to reward individuals who succeed in managing all aspects of their program, and John has done that," Hart said. "Our first preference is to keep that good leadership in place."
Shulman's contract runs through the 2014 season with a base salary of $125,000. The UNCW job reportedly comes with a salary double that figure.
"Neither one of us have used external influences as leverage," Hart said. "John and I have a good relationship that's built on respect and trust, and that makes it easy."