MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Brad Soderberg was Dick Bennett's disciple, trusted assistant and hand-picked successor.
His biggest drawback might be that he wasn't Dick Bennett himself.
Wisconsin athletic director Pat Richter told Soderberg on Monday he won't be asked to come back as basketball coach next season. Soderberg held the job on an "acting" basis since Bennett retired Nov. 30.
Richter said the decision didn't entirely rest on the Badgers' first-round failure in the NCAA tournament.
"It has nothing to do with good, bad or indifferent job that's been done," Richter said.
"Someone asked the question, 'Is this a decision you make by your heart or your head?' I think you have to make it with your head. If you make it with your heart, I think you know where you end up. And that's the nature of what we deal with in college athletics."
Soderberg scheduled a news conference for Tuesday at Kohl Center.
"I'm sick to my stomach," Soderberg told the ESPN.com Web site on Monday. "I wasn't able to do what he wanted. I'm disappointed, but I don't have any regrets. I did everything I could. The biggest regret is I have to move my family again. I've got to tell my kids that's what we're going to do."
Richter said he hoped to attract a coach to Wisconsin with a "national reputation," and he acknowledged that Utah's Rick Majerus, a Wisconsin native, would be a prime candidate if interested.
"Any time you can find a coach that has some allegiance or some factor that ties us here, that you don't get a gypsy type that's going to come and go, I think that's a help," Richter said. "Dick Bennett brought that. And there are some that are out there that have that characterization."
Richter said he hadn't spoken with Majerus, who is on sabbatical this season to recuperate from a heart operation and to care for his ill mother in Milwaukee.
Majerus was in Salt Lake City on Monday, but didn't return a phone message left by The Associated Press.
Richter said he wanted a coach, preferably from college, who could recruit better athletes.
The 38-year-old Soderberg took over as "acting" coach on Nov. 30, when Bennett retired, citing mental and physical exhaustion.
Richter said he even considered inviting Bennett to come out of retirement, "but I don't think that's a possibility."
Sticking with Bennett's starters and style, Soderberg won his first eight games, the first Wisconsin coach to do that since 1911, and was the only first-year coach to take the Badgers to the NCAA tournament. But they were upset 50-49 by Georgia State in the first round Thursday.
The Badgers, who reached the Final Four last season for the first time in 59 years, lost their first game in the Big Ten tournament to Indiana and finished 18-11, including 16-10 under Soderberg.
Soderberg seemed a shoo-in for the job in January when the Badgers were 13-4 and ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since 1962. But an inability to put teams away led to six losses in the last nine games.
Soderberg inherited a typical Bennett team, a lineup without stars that played terrific defense but had trouble whenever the shots weren't falling -- which was often.
Bennett's compensation package was about $500,000 and Richter said that will have to be increased to get the kind of coach he covets.
Richter said it was hard to cut ties with the most successful staff in school history -- the Badgers have been to the NCAA tournament just seven times, but four of those came in the last five years under Bennett and Soderberg.
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