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Search for coach narrowed to four

 

April 17, 2002



The Candidates:

William Wilson

Currently the head women's basketball coach at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. Wilson received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1989 and a master's of education in athletic administration from Slippery Rock University in 1991. He will visit the MSU-N campus and interview Tuesday.

Mike Erickson

Currently the interim women's basketball coach at Montana State University-Northern. Erickson received a bachelor's dgree in physical education from Montana State University-Billings in 1996. He was previously an assistant coach for the MSU-N men's basketball team. Erickson will interview Thursday.

Shawn Reed

Currently an assistant women's basketball coach at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan. Reed received a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Sterling College in 1995 and a master's of education in sports administration from Wichita State University in 1998. He will visit the MSU-N campus and interview Monday.

Russell Rogers photo unavailable

Currently the athletics director and head girls basketball coach at Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, Ariz. Rogers received a bachelor's degree in business administration from Myers College, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1979 and a master's of education in adult learning and development from Cleveland State University in 1989. He will visit the MSU-N campus and interview April 25.

After reviewing more than 100 resumes, the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball coach search committee has narrowed the field down to four finalists.

On-campus interviews with the finalists will begin Thursday and continue through April 25. The finalists are: Mike Erickson, the current interim head women's coach at Northern; Shawn Reed, an assistant coach at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan.; William Wilson, head coach at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa; and Russell Rogers, the athletics director at Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, Ariz.

Each candidate will spend one day on campus and meet with Chancellor Alex Capdeville, other administrators, and members of the athletics department and women's basketball team. Each candidate will meet with the public at an open forum between 5 and 6 p.m. on their interview day in the Donaldson Hall Commons.

The opening was created when Capdeville suspended coach Kevin Emerick for maintaining a personal relationship with a student and Emerick lost a court battle to keep his job. Before that battle ended, the Skylights basketball team launched a boycott and refused to play for Emerick.

Erickson will be interviewed Thursday. Before taking over the women's team, he was an assistant for Northern's men's team. He did not respond to several phone messages requesting an interview.

Prior to moving to Havre, Erickson was the head boys basketball coach at Wolf Point High School for three seasons, compiling a 54-12 record. He led the Wolves to two district championships, a divisional championship and two state tournament appearances.

Erickson graduated from MSU-Billings in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in physical education.

Reed will visit the Northern campus on Monday. Reed is in his ninth season as an assistant women's coach at Sterling College, an NAIA Division II school. Reed also is a sports information director and director of the Warrior Athletic Association, a fund-raising organization for the school.

Reed said he knows very little about the problems the team had last season.

"Whatever happened last year is in the past," he said. "I'm still excited about being in a strong program. I don't think that a year with problems will change that."

During Reed's time at Sterling, the team has posted a combined 221-52 record, won four conference championships, qualified for the NAIA national tournament five times and reached the final four in 2001 and the elite eight in 2002. The school's record this past season was 31-2. Reed spent four years as a student-assistant coach and has spent the last five as a full-time assistant.

"We've had 10 straight seasons where we've won 20 games or more, we've gone to the NAIA National Tournament seven of the last 10 years, and I want to do that at Northern and I think they have a chance to do that," Reed said.

The Skylights' national championship in the early 1990s was one of the reasons Reed has expressed interest in the position, he said.

"I like the NAIA and I like what it stands for," he said. "I like the smaller type schools where you can get to know the students, where it's like a big family."

Reed, 29, graduated from Sterling College with a bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1995. Reed left Sterling for two years to get a master's degree in sports administration from Wichita State University and came back as a full-time assistant because he wanted to get back into coaching.

With little time to recruit, Reed said he would try to find local players for Northern and also try to get some transfers from junior college programs.

"I have a lot of good junior college connections," Reed said. "This time of year is not going to be just a piece of cake. You're going to have to look under a rock to find players."

Reed and his wife, Miranda, are expecting their first child in the beginning of September.

"We're looking to stay somewhere for a while," he said.

Wilson, the head coach at Upper Iowa University since 1996, will visit campus Tuesday. Upper Iowa University, a NCAA Division III school, is a nonscholarship university and is the smallest college in the Iowa Conference. Wilson's overall record at UIU is 79-72.

This past season, Wilson was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association District 8 Coach of the Year after leading the Peacocks to a 19-7 record, the best-ever in the school's history. Wilson has taken teams to three conference tournaments and coached five All-Iowa Conference players. His students have a 100 percent graduation rate, his resume says.

Wilson's interest in Northern stems from its reputation.

"MSU-Northern is traditionally a very good program," he said. "They have the chance to compete at the national level on a consistent basis and have the resources to win a national championship. I think every coach wants to work at a place where you have the chance to do that."

Another factor is the support the community provides, he said.

"There's a tremendous amount of support from the town of Havre," he said. "Instead of having to go out and solicit support, you are going to have support to begin with."

Wilson said he can provide immediate stability to the problem.

"I think that's something the players are looking for. I think that's what the administration is looking for. I think that's what the town is looking for and I think I can do that," he said.

With little time to recruit, Wilson said, he would like to recruit mainly in Montana. His long-term recruiting plans would be to "corner the market in Montana" and "to draw as many players in-state as I can."

Wilson has a bachelor's degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky University and a master's in education in athletic administration from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

Wilson, who is single, expressed interest in coaching at Northern prior to the hiring of Emerick.

Rogers will be in Havre on April 25.

Rogers, the athletics director at Valley Lutheran High School in Phoenix, Ariz., previously coached at Western Oregon University from 1994-2000. At WOU, Rogers led his teams to two NAIA Division II national championships in 1995 and 1996 and had teams qualify for nationals four out of five years. He was named NAIA National Coach of the Year twice and coached two first-team, two third-team and one honorable mention NAIA player, and one academic NAIA All-American player.

Rogers graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1979 from Myers College in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his masters of education in adult learning and development in 1989 from Cleveland State University.

Rogers was unavailable for comment.

 

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