NANOOK CORNER: Search begins for Hockey and Women's Basketball head coaches
The University of Alaska Fairbanks has begun their national searches for permanent head coaches for the Nanook Hockey and Women's Basketball Teams.
I sat down with Interim Athletic Director Kayne Gutierrez to talk about the process in this week's Nanook Corner.
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: After being coached under Interim Head Coaches last year, the Hockey and Women's Basketball programs have begun their search for permanent Head Coaches. The University began their National Searches last week and the long process of finding a Head Coach will be undertaken by multpile parts of the Athletic Department.
Kayne Gutiierrez; Interim Athletic Director - UAF>>: "I still think we have to give our student athletes the best opportunity to be successful on the ice, on the floor, as well as in the classroom and in the community. So after we do out outreach and get our applications and those kinds of things, then we've put two committees together, one for Women's Basketball and one for Hockey. And they are completely independent from one-another. I am overseeing the hockey coach search and our senior women's administrator Molly Parker is overseeing the Women's Basketball search. We're not looking to hire a coach for one year. We're looking for someone to come in, build the program, put a stamp on this University and this community."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: As per NCAA Regulations, the jobs were posted nationally, where anyone can apply. Gutierrez feels like this is an important step, especially for UAF.
Kayne Gutiierrez; Interim Athletic Director - UAF>>: "It also gives us the opportunity to see how people look at our program, and what they see our program as being as far as what state it's in and what kind of work needs to be done. And it also gives us a chance to reflect on ourselves a little bit. So, that when we do hire a coach, we don't hide anything. All the cards are on the table. This is what we can offer you. This is what we expect out of you. And sometimes it might take a whole National or International search. I'm not looking to hire someone so I can watch them fail. We're looking for someone to succeed. Because even if they leave here to get a quote unquote... like the women's basketball leaves here to get a Division One coaching job. If they leave this program in a better state than they received it, I think we've all done a positive thing for the program."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: Last year the UAF Hockey team was coached by Lance West, who took over for the job when Dallas Ferguson stepped down in July Last year. West had been a long-time assistant coach for the Nooks and led them to an 11-22-3 overall record this past season. Brett Sawyer took over as the Interim head coach for the Women's Basketball team after Cody Bench resigned a year ago. The women's team went 4-22 overall and 0-20 in conference play. Interim Athletic Director Kayne Gutierrez says that the Interim Coaches will have an equal opportunity at the permanent head coaching job.
Kayne Gutiierrez; Interim Athletic Director - UAF>>: "I think they're going to be given a fair shake at being able to sell their vision for the program in the long term and be able to sell themselves at being able to fulfill that vision. Part of the thing that, I'm sure for them, and I know this for myself, part of the problem with being an interim is you end up being a little paranoid. And that's natural and I get it from a professional standpoint. But I do, and I've told them this, they're going to get an equal opportunity."
Devin Fry; Reporting>>: "Got any hot leads on who's getting what job?"
Kayne Gutiierrez; Interim Athletic Director - UAF>>: "I do but I can't tell you."