The phone's "ringing like mad" with interested applicants, and Weber State athletic director Dick Hannan has been inolved in constant meetings this week, but he says he hasn't yet interviewed one basketball coach to replace Denny Huston, who was released Friday.
Hannan says if a prospective coach walked into his office, he'd probably talk to him, but other than that, he doesn't plan to interview any candidates for a week or more.Instead, he's spending time talking to others whose input he values - "a lot of different populations," as he puts it, including the athletic advisory board, faculty, community, athletic staff, former players and Wildcat Athletic Association members. Hannan was out of town over the weekend - to talk about potential candidates, not to potential candidates, he says.
Hannan already has a set of somewhat-flexible criteria for the man who is to return the Wildcats to basketball prominence, and he's not sure that his current talks will change those, but he wants to be thorough.
His timetable still targets the first few weeks of April for interviews and the naming of a coach. That, of course, means little recruiting can be done with the signing date in the second week. Hannan says that concerns him, "but I'm more concerned about making the right choice."
He's confident that Weber is in pretty good shape for on-court personnel for the next little while. Starters David Baldwin and Jason Joe are juniors. Sophomore Al Hamilton was a starter or first off the bench, and freshmen Elroy Miller, Robbie Johnson and Jimmy DeGraffenried were regulars this season.
Hannan estimated Wednesday he had a pile of about 75 phone messages on his desk. Most were from coaches. They came from "throughout the nation," he says, adding about half are from head coaches and half from current assistants. Hannan has some of his own ideas, too.
"I'm in no big hurry," he says.
His choice/choices will go to WSU President Paul Thompson, and the decision will be made from there.
Hannan has a wish list "of things important to me that are not set in concrete" to guide his process.
"My main concern is I'd like someone with head-coaching experience on the college level," he says, but he'd settle for the right assistant. High on the importance list is integrity and heavy emphasis on academics.
Also, someone "to get us back to the top of the conference - I don't think that's in opposition (with academics)," he says - "and someone to put excitement back in the program, someone with a little pizzazz and PR ability." Unless it's a Rick Majerus, he says, a slow-down, pound-it-inside coaching approach probably wouldn't cut it with Weber's fans and might not be considered too highly.
Huston had a 43-42 record over three years, but fans of Weber's glamour (money-making) sport wanted more action than the pass-it-around, don't-make-mistakes offense Huston favored. Attendance this season averaged 4,240, and never was the Dee Center (11,615 seats) filled, even for BYU.