Hiring for tennis coach returns to search stage

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The process took a step back after a finalist declined the job.

Southeast Missouri State has basically retraced its steps in its search for a new women's tennis coach.

Southeast assistant athletic director Cindy Gannon, who is heading up the search committee, said one of two finalists for the position was recently offered the job but turned it down.

So Southeast opened the search back up by posting the position on various Web sites, as the university does when any coaching spot becomes vacant.

"When the candidate we offered the position to declined it, we re-evaluated our pool and felt like we should just go ahead and re-advertise the position because we basically weren't satisfied with the rest of our pool," Gannon said.

Added Gannon: "Hopefully, Monday, we will begin re-evaluating our new pool of candidates and begin narrowing things down."

Gannon declined to say who Southeast offered the position to, but it was one of the two finalists: Robert Farrington, a teaching professional in Illinois who is a former head men's coach at DePaul; or Jay Wiseman, an assistant women's coach at Bowling Green.

"The person we offered it to declined for personal reasons. It wasn't a good fit for his family, but it had nothing to do with the job," Gannon said. "We didn't feel comfortable offering the position to the other finalist, so we decided to re-open it."

Since the primary tennis season is in the spring -- although teams practice and compete in various tournaments in the fall -- Gannon said Southeast believes it better to be totally satisfied with the new coach rather than rush into things.

The Redhawks players have been practicing on their own, Gannon said. They were scheduled to open their fall schedule Friday in the Arkansas-Little Rock Invitational but won't make that trip.

However, Gannon said the Redhawks will compete in their two remaining fall tournaments -- Oct. 6 and 7 at Western Illinois and Oct. 18 through 22 at Tulsa -- whether a new coach is in place or not.

Gannon said Jayson Santos, Southeast's assistant athletic director for compliance, will accompany the squad to its final two fall tournaments if a coach has not been hired by then.

Southeast is in the market for a coach after Jay Pacelli resigned this summer to take a teaching job at a tennis center in Jackson, Miss. He was at Southeast three years and led the Redhawks to a 12-11 record in 2006, marking the program's first winning season since 1997.

Volleyball opens at home

The Southeast volleyball team, after playing its first 12 matches away from home, will finally have a contest at Houck Field House tonight when Bradley visits for a 7 p.m. start.

Southeast is 5-7 and has won four of its last five matches. Bradley is 3-7.

Following tonight's action, the Redhawks open Ohio Valley Conference play 7 p.m. Friday against visiting Tennessee-Martin.

Soccer player honored

Southeast junior Blair Schuppan has been named the OVC defensive player of the week.

Schuppan recorded her first career hat trick and added an assist Saturday as the Redhawks held Arkansas-Pine Bluff without a shot during a 12-0 rout. She also tallied an assist on the game-tying goal in Monday's 2-1 loss at nationally ranked St. Louis University.

Schuppan helped the Redhawks (3-4) set school and OVC single-game records against Arkansas-Pine Bluff for goals (12), assists (14) and points (38).

Southeast begins OVC play 7 p.m. Friday against visiting Murray State.

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