Mesa State to select new women’s coach today
Butch Miller said he wanted to move quickly to find a new women’s basketball coach at Mesa State College.
Less than three weeks after the end of the season, the search appears to be over.
The college has scheduled a press conference for 1:30 this afternoon and is expected to introduce its new women’s basketball coach.
A search committee went through more than 80 applicants for the job and had five finalists interview last week.
Miller, the Mesa State athletic director, told The Daily Sentinel on Tuesday the five finalists are Carroll (Mont.) College coach Shawn Nelson, Longmont High School coach Jay Darian, University of Nebraska-Kearney assistant coach Karin Nicholls, Roaring Fork High School coach
Roger Walters and Rogers State (Okla.) College assistant coach Michael Wells.
Monday, Miller said he had extended a job offer but would not identify who his choice was.
“The search committee did a great job narrowing it down,” Miller said. “I felt we could’ve hired any of the five and been well off.”
The new coach replaces Timi Brown, who resigned Jan. 24. Brown went 58-77 in five seasons.
Eleven players return from this year’s team, but the new coach will have to replace guard Abby Hancock and the Mavs’ leading scorer this past season, post Stephanie Delgado.
“Recruiting will be priority number one,” Miller said. “You’ve got to find kids for the seniors that are gone. Those are some big holes to fill.”
The new coach also will need to hire an assistant. Laura Stratton will not return next year.
“The bar was set high with Coach K (Steve Kirkham),” Miller said. “We’re trying to get back to the top of the RMAC. Our women’s program can do that. It has proven it can.
“The coach will come in and hopefully take it to at least challenge for an opportunity to win the West. You never know what happens after that.
“Fort Lewis has proven you are just some things away from winning that big game and that’s all we want with our program.”