Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Final Four

We're down to the final four coaching candidates for our men's basketball team. Word is that it won't be an easy decision. Each candidate has a unique strength, be it ties to the state of Washington or previous experience in the Big Sky Conference.
I know from 'inside' information, the decision will not be easy.
Here's a nice synopsis from the S-R.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Eastern completes interview process
Eagles hope to hire coach by end of week

Dave Trimmer Staff writer
It's decision time at Eastern Washington University after interviews for the four finalists for the Eagles' men's basketball position were completed late Tuesday.
"Hopefully, we'll be done by the end of the week," interim athletic director Michael Westfall said.
University of Washington assistant Jim Shaw was the final candidate to visit campus. Kirk Earlywine, an assistant at North Carolina-Wilmington, interviewed earlier in the day. Seattle Pacific head coach Jeff Hironaka and NC-Greensboro assistant Rod Jensen met with the five-person search committee Monday.
"There is no front runner, they're all exceptional candidates," Westfall said. "I've said before, you could put all the names in a hat, draw one and we could be successful with anyone in this group."
All four have some connection to the Big Sky Conference as well as extensive resumes.
Hironaka and Shaw started their college careers at Idaho State. Shaw was on the Bengals' staff in 1986-87, and Hironaka was there the next three seasons. Shaw was also at Montana State for two seasons in the mid-'90s. Earlywine spent seven years as an assistant for Joe Cravens at Weber State until Cravens was fired after the 2005-06 season. Jensen, who has been at Greensboro for two years, spent 19 years at Boise State, which was in the Big Sky for his 12 years as an assistant for Bobby Dye and the first of the seven seasons he was head coach.
Jensen, who graduated from the University of Redlands in California in 1975 has the most experience as a head coach with those seven years at BSU, where he went 109-93. After leaving BSU in 2002, Jensen was an assistant at Virginia for two seasons before going to Greensboro in 2005.
Hironaka, a Weiser, Idaho, native and 1980 graduate of Eastern Oregon, has gone 94-49 in his five seasons as the SPU head coach. He was Ken Bone's top assistant for 11 seasons, with the Falcons going 312-126. Hironaka became the head coach when Bone became an assistant at UW in 2002. Bone has been in the BSC the last two seasons as the head coach at Portland State.
Shaw, a Chimacum, Wash., native and 1985 graduate of Western Oregon, has been at UW for the past three seasons, one of the best stretches in school history with back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances. Prior to that, he spent five seasons on Kelvin Sampson's staff at Oklahoma, when the Sooners made the Final Four and an Elite Eight appearance. He also spent a year at St. Louis with Husky coach Lorenzo Romar and five years at Portland.
Earlywine, an Indianapolis native and 1987 graduate of Campbell, was the head coach at Division II Pfeiffer in Misenheimer, N.C., in 1995-96, going 21-8.
His first job was under Rick Majerus at Ball State. In his second season the Falcons made the NCAA tournament and upset Pittsburgh in the first round. Earlywine went to Utah with Majerus and was there for three seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance, before going to Central Michigan for the 1993-94 season.
It was at CMU where he met Westfall, who was on the staff there, making him the only candidate with a personal history with the head of the search committee.
"That has absolutely nothing to do with it," Westfall said. "You don't get ahead or where I'm at by hiring your friends, you have to hire the best person for the job."
Earlywine then went to Pfeiffer and Wisconsin-Milwaukee for two seasons before going to Weber.
He has been at Wilmington two seasons.

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