Southeast narrows its search for gymnastics coach to 2

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Southeast Missouri State University's search for a new gymnastics coach appears to be winding down now that two finalists have been selected and are being interviewed on campus this week.

A school search committee interviewed Bill Hardy, the head coach at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., on Tuesday. Tim Rivera, an assistant coach at San Jose State, will be interviewed Thursday.

Cindy Gannon, an assistant athletic director who heads the committee, said Hardy and Rivera were selected as finalists from an original pool of about 35 applicants that included several female candidates.

"We really had a good pool, and we had some females in our final pool of candidates who either opted to stay at their schools or go to bigger programs," Gannon said. "But I feel like both our finalists have great backgrounds and both have had successful collegiate experience, which we were looking for."

Southeast is seeking a replacement for Patty Stotzheim, who resigned after four seasons. Stotzheim, who led the Otahkians to a 32-50 record -- including an 8-13 mark in 2003 -- left to attend law school in Minnesota.

Hardy has been head coach at Centenary the past three years. Centenary, like Southeast, is a member of the Midwest Independent Conference for gymnastics. The Otahkians defeated the Gents in a dual meet last season.

Rivera has been an assistant at San Jose State the past two years. The Spartans qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships for the first time in school history last season. Rivera is a former head coach at Cal Poly and Cal Santa Barbara.

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