It turned out Howland didn’t even want to tell his old players he was leaving. That fell to Jamie Dixon.
Pitt was acting at the time with only an interim AD — no excuse for that since it had been 4 months since the former had left (and he gave notice). So you had the school chancellor and an interim AD doing the search. They only interviewed two candidates: Wake Forest’s Skip Prosser and Jamie Dixon.
Prosser was the guy they wanted. It was to the point where they were down in New Orleans for the Final Four and didn’t even contact any other possibilities to at least informally talk about the job. Prosser ultimately turned down the job and chose to stay at Wake Forest. A good deal of which had to do with still not finding a full time AD. After very publicly flubbing the pursuit of Prosser, the school hired Dixon.