Former assistants express interest in Southeast post

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Southeast Missouri State athletic director Don Kaverman said he hopes to have a search committee in place soon as the university seeks a new head men's basketball coach.

There will likely be no shortage of candidates in the wake of Wednesday's announcement that Gary Garner's contract will not be extended -- and two former Southeast assistants said they would be interested in returning.

Tom Schuberth and Anthony Beane, who were Garner's top assistants during Southeast's best Division I season, told the Southeast Missourian on Wednesday that they are interested in the position.

Schuberth directed the recruiting during Garner's first four years with the program, when Southeast went 76-41, including a 24-7 mark in 1999-2000 that featured Southeast's first Ohio Valley Conference championship and first NCAA Division I tournament berth.

"I really feel bad for coach Garner and his staff. It's unfortunate, but coaching is a business where this happens," Schuberth said. "But I loved my time there. I think it's a great job. I've been there, and I know what it takes to win there."

Schuberth, 48, left Southeast following an 18-12 season in 2000-01 to became an assistant at Alabama-Birmingham, where he spent one year.

Schuberth is in his fourth season at Central Florida, and he is in his second season as the Golden Knights' associate head coach. He serves as their recruiting coordinator.

Prior to this season, Central Florida had been 70-26 since Schuberth joined the program, including NCAA tournament berths the past two years as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

A rebuilding Central Florida team, which joined Conference USA this season, entered a Wednesday night game at Marshall 12-13 overall and 6-6 in league play.

Schuberth, who has not been a collegiate head coach, has been a part of 11 NCAA tournament teams during his previous 23 years as an assistant. Before coming to Southeast, he was the top recruiter at Memphis.

"I've had opportunities to be a head coach, but I've wanted to wait for the right time," Schuberth said. "I would love to be a head coach at a school like Southeast. I think it can be one of the top programs in the OVC."

Beane, a current assistant at St. Louis University, feels the same way. He was at Southeast during Garner's first three years, and he also did plenty of recruiting for the program's landmark 1999-2000 squad.

"I'm really good friends with coach Garner, and I know his assistants well," Beane said. "He's a good person and a great coach. I have a lot of sympathy for what they're going through.

"But I know you can be very successful there. I was there when they were very successful."

Beane, 34, left Southeast following the 1999-2000 season to become an assistant at Illinois State, where he spent two years.

Beane is in his fourth season at St. Louis University, which entered a Wednesday night game against Dayton 16-10 overall and 10-4 in Atlantic 10 Conference play.

As a native of Southeast Missouri -- he is from Bernie -- Beane said he would like nothing better than to have his first collegiate head coaching position be virtually in his own backyard.

"My wife [who is from Sikeston] and I are Southeast Missouri natives, and that is one job that is really close to my heart," Beane said. "Not because I coached there, but because I grew up there. I remember going to Houck Field House and following those great Division II teams."

Added Beane: "I think I can be what they [Southeast] are looking for. I think I definitely fit the criteria."

Kaverman said he will chair a search committee that will consist of community and campus representatives. A national search will be conducted to find Garner's replacement.

"We have some work to do, but we hope to get this done as quickly as possible," Kaverman said.

Kaverman said Southeast's three assistant coaches -- Ronnie Dean, Robert Guster and Toby Lane, whose contracts expire April 30 -- will likely have an opportunity to interview with the new head coach, if they so desire.

"It will be up to the next head coach, whether he wants to interview them," Kaverman said.

Dean, Guster and Lane all said they want to remain in coaching, and would welcome the opportunity to interview with the new head coach.

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