By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The MSU-Northern athletic department has gone to a national search to find a suitable candidate to take over as head coach of the Skylights basketball program.
"The first closing date is July first, but the search will remain open nationally until we find a suitable candidate," MSU-Northern Athletic Director Ted Spatkowski said. "So, we will accept applications past that date."
Ray Peters, who had been with the program for four years, vacated the position in May to take an administrative position in Olympia, Wash.
Although the list of coaches has not been narrowed to anyone specific, Spatkowski said, he is hopeful the search will bring in some qualified candidates.
"We have received a number of phone calls from people interested in the position," Spatkowski said. "We expect that it will be an excellent search."
The department would prefer a candidate with some college coaching experience and someone with a Master's degree, Spatkowski said. Being a team player, and someone possessing loyalty and honesty to both the players and the program would also be given top priority.
The nation-wide search is "wide open" right now, Spatkowski said.
The search committee hopes to bring in people for an interview during the latter part of July and would prefer someone on board by August 1, Spatkowski said.
Because the position was not filled earlier this month, the Skylights basketball camp and position camp that was slated to be held at the end of June was cancelled.
The Skylights basketball program has been successful throughout the years, claiming an NAIA national championship in 1993 and claiming the Frontier Conference championship during the years of 1984-87 and 1989-1999. During the 1998-99 campaign, the Skylights advanced to the "Elite Eight" NAIA tournament for the first time in school history.
The Skylights finished their 1999-2000 season with a conference record of 7-5 and an overall mark of 17-13.