Preston a finalist for CCU job

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According to the Myrtle Beach Sun, Florida assistant coach Lewis Preston is among five finalists for the head coaching job at Coastal Carolina University.

Preston was an assistant at Coastal Carolina from 1998-2000 before moving on to Notre Dame, where he spent six years as an assistant. Florida hired Preston as an assistant in May of 2006 after Anthony Grant left for a head coaching job at Virginia Commonwealth.

Preston, 36, has worked primarily with the Florida big men since arriving on campus.

Some of the remaining finalists also have strong Southeastern Conference ties. Cliff Ellis, 61, was the former head coach at Auburn and Clemson. David Hobbs, a former Kentucky associate and Alabama head coach is on the finalist list with South Carolina-Upstate coach Eddie Payne and CCU assistant coach Jamie Kachmarik.

Coastal Carolina President David DeCenzo said he would like to have the search done by the end of next week. Preston met with CCU athletic director Warren Kogel on Tuesday in Gainesville.

Preston declined comment through Florida team spokesman Fred Demarest.