Wagner withdraws from Central Washington coaching search

Colorado Mesa women’s basketball coach Taylor Wagner is staying put.

Wagner withdrew his name from consideration Thursday for the women’s head basketball coaching position at Central Washington University.

Wagner, who is 61-4 in two seasons at Colorado Mesa with two RMAC championships, one South Central Region title and one appearance in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight, interviewed Monday in Ellensburg, Wash.

After returning to Grand Junction, he decided this was the right place for his family.

“We’ve got good kids here, and we’ve recruited good players coming in,” Wagner told The Daily Sentinel on Thursday afternoon. “This is a good place to be, where I want to be. It was an easy choice, and I’m happy to continue on.”

Wagner, the two-time RMAC women’s coach of the year and the 2013 South Central Region coach of the year, has produced three All-Americans in his two seasons at Mesa, Katrina Selsor and Kelsey Sigl in 2013, and Sharaya Selsor this past season.

Sigl and Sharaya Selsor were selected RMAC players of the year after their senior years. Sigl played professionally in France last season and is playing in a pro league in Chile this summer.

Coaches often look into other positions even when they aren’t looking to leave.

“Everyone looks,” Wagner said. “It’s a professional thing, but looking deeper into it, I know it was something I don’t want to do. I just want to be here.”

Ironically, Wagner will coach against former Central Washington coach Shawn Nelson next season. Nelson has been hired at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, replacing Corey Laster.

The Mavericks finished this season ranked No. 4 in the nation despite not reaching the Elite Eight, losing to national runner-up West Texas A&M 59-56 in the South Central Region title game.

“The goal is still the same for next year’s team,” Wagner said. “We’ll get through the summer, and hopefully everybody gets a little bit better, and we’ll come back in the fall and get ready to go and have another good year.”

Wagner has signed eight players for next season and is waiting on another recruit to decide. Depending on that outcome, he said he might sign one more, but “it will have to be someone who can help us right away.”

He plans to compete for a third straight RMAC title next season and another regional title. The Mavericks have lost only two games in each of the past two seasons but didn’t achieve their ultimate goal of a national title.

“Still room for improvement, isn’t there?” Wagner said, laughing.


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