Southeast Missouri State receives interest in vacant women's coach job

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The women's basketball position will be advertised until March 18

Southeast Missouri State director of athletics John Shafer said the university has had plenty of applications and inquiries for its vacant women's basketball coaching position.

The post came open March 1 when Southeast announced that John Ishee's contract, which expires April 30, would not be renewed. He spent five seasons as the Redhawks' coach.

"We have gotten a big response. That's good," Shafer said. "We're getting a bunch of applications in and we're screening those."

Shafer said associate director of athletics Cindy Gannon, Southeast's senior women's administrator and the university's sports administrator for women's basketball, is assisting him with the search process.

Shafer said the official advertisement for the position closes March 18, after which time a list of potential candidates will be narrowed.

Shafer said an undetermined number of finalists might be brought on to campus to visit with staff and administrators. Shafer said those names would not be made public.

"It just depends on the quality of the people. You might have two, you might have six," Shafer said of potential finalists.

Shafer said there is a chance no finalists will be needed. That was the case during the first and only other high-profile coaching search under his watch, resulting in the hiring of men's basketball coach Dickey Nutt two years ago.

"There may be somebody I think is a no-brainer, like coach Nutt was," Shafer said.

Shafer added that he does not anticipate Southeast lacking quality candidates.

"I'm encouraged by some of the names I've seen already," he said. "Some I recognize, some I don't, but I recognize the programs."

Shafer said that while previous head coaching experience is desirable, it's not a requirement.

"I think you're looking for someone that does have head coaching experience, but you'll get a lot of assistants, young aspiring coaches that have been assistants for a while," Shafer said. "You get a whole variety, and we're going to keep an open mind."

Shafer said there is no timetable for a new coach to be in place.

"There is a lot of basketball still to be played, with people going through their conference tournaments, then the NCAA tournament and other tournaments," Shafer said. "You have to work around that.

"Whatever [time] it takes to get a good one, but the sooner the better."

Southeast is coming off consecutive 21-loss seasons after the program only had lost 21 games one other year.

The Redhawks are 15-42 the past two seasons, 8-28 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Ishee's record with the Redhawks was 77-74, including 62-32 over his first three years.

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