As he searches for a new men's basketball coach, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder is armed with a powerful negotiating tool. Boone Pickens. The entire country knows about Pickens, as do potential coaching candidates. This figures to up the salary ante considerably. In alphabetical order, here are my top 26 candidates for the job, with their current salary and what it might cost OSU to land him: Anthony Grant of Virginia Commonwealth. It's no coincidence this A-list candidate is listed first. Current salary: $600,000. Estimated cost for OSU: $1.2 million. Billy Gillispie of Kentucky. If you offer Gillispie a job, have a detailed contract ready — in triplicate. Current salary: $2.3 million. Cost for OSU: $3.25 million. Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois. This guy is a stud. Teams are well-coached and tough. Current salary: $750,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million. Dana Altman of Creighton. Calling the Hogs scared him away. "Go Pokes” is much less embarrassing. Current salary: $1 million. Cost for OSU: $1.5 million ESPN analyst Bob Knight. He revered Mr. Iba, but it's doubtful he would coach on a court named after Eddie Sutton. Current salary: Unknown. Cost for OSU: $3 million, plus free fishing and hunting. Floyd, Tim — USC coach. Was a candidate at LSU. Don't let him escape to the bayou. Current salary: $850,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million Gonzaga coach Mark Few. There must be something that can pull this guy away from Spokane. A ridiculous offer might do it. Current salary: $750,000. Cost for OSU: $2.5 million. Hinson, Barry — former Missouri State and Oral Roberts coach and OSU grad. The Cowboys could use some good PR right now. Find me a better speaker than Hinson. Current salary: None. Cost for OSU: $300,000, plus $20,000 per speaking engagement. Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich. If you're looking for a bargain, this former OSU assistant is your man. Current salary: $170,000. Cost for OSU: $170,001. Jay Wright of Villanova. How can such a nice guy be so attached to such a mean town like Philadelphia? Current salary: $1.3 million. Cost for OSU: $2.6 million Keno Davis of Drake. His first name offers lousy odds in Las Vegas, but he might be worth the gamble. Current salary: $200,000. Cost for OSU: $800,000. Lon Kruger of UNLV. A coach who can be lured with golf perks. Current salary: $1.2 million Cost for OSU: $2 million and no green fees. Mike Brey of Notre Dame. Couldn't find terms of his current contract. Whatever it is, double it. Nevada coach Mark Fox. Might have to beat Cal to the punch for this hire. Current salary: $500,000. Cost for OSU: $1.2 million. Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel. Just seeing if you're paying attention. Current salary: $1.050 million (pending). Cost for OSU: $2 million and a promise to fix up that "hellhole.” Pittsburgh coach Jaime Dixon. Better hurry. He could be headed back to the west coast. Current salary: $1 million. Cost for OSU: $2 million. Quinn Buckner, Indiana Pacers television analyst. Have no idea if he wants to coach. Couldn't find a coach's name that started with a Q. Cost for OSU: Negotiable. Rob Jeter of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. This small school has had some big-time coaches. Current salary: $400,000. Cost for OSU: $1 million. Self, Bill — Kansas coach. How high is up for this OSU golden boy? Current salary: $1.675 million. Estimated cost for OSU: $4 million salary, plus incentives; investments through Pickens' firm at no charge; complimentary Karsten Creek house lot and golf membership; his own lodge near the clubhouse, a la Pickens and Sherman Smith; Ryder Cup gear from Scott Verplank; Bob Tway's sand wedge from the 1986 PGA Championship; putting tips from Andy Dillard; free lessons from Holder; private table at Eskimo Joe's; unlimited orders of Fowl Thing w/cheese fries; Barry Sanders autographed football; a national championship for Kansas on Monday night. Guarantee all this, and maybe Self might listen. Tony Bennett of Washington State. Doubled his salary last season and might soon double it again. Current salary: $800,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million. University of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith. It would be great to have this unfairly maligned workaholic back in Oklahoma. Current salary: $1.8 million. Cost for OSU: $3 million. Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings. An intriguing candidate, but it might be tough to lure him away from Vandy's intramural program. Current salary: $1 million. Cost for OSU: $2 million. Wright State coach Brad Brownell. If he was good enough to be Indiana's backup choice to Tom Crean, perhaps he deserves a look-see. Current contract: $200,000. Cost for OSU: $750,000. Xavier coach Sean Miller. This school is doing everything it can to hang onto Miller. Current contract: $900,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million. YMCA instructor. Take a chance. See if it's the coaching that matters, or the players. Cost for OSU: $11.50 per hour. Zo Romar of Washington. Lorenzo has lured stout talent to Puget Sound. Why not Payne County? Current salary: $1 million. Cost for OSU: $1.75 million.
Could Creighton's Dana Altman be lured to Stillwater? Associated Press