Garner in market for two assistants

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

With college basketball practice scheduled to begin in less than a month -- and with recruiting for next year in full swing -- Southeast Missouri State University coach Gary Garner is in the unique position of having to find virtually a brand-new staff.

That's because his top two aides both left for other assistant coaching jobs in recent weeks, Tom Schuberth going to Alabama-Birmingham and Chris Lowery moving across the river to Southern Illinois-Carbondale.

"I've never lost two assistants at one time before," said Garner, who has been coaching since 1967.

Garner said he hopes to have his staff filled out soon -- and he indicated there is certainly no shortage of impressive candidates.

"I think we have a lot of good, quality candidates," he said. "In this profession, you always have people in mind ahead of time, in case you lose an assistant."

Added Garner with a laugh, "Needless to say, I've been on the phone a lot lately. I feel like I've had a phone attached to my ear the last few weeks."

Although Garner said he hated to lose both Schuberth and Lowery, he always considers it a compliment to his program when assistants move on for better career opportunities.

"If they're good, they're going to move up," Garner said. "There are always different circumstances, but at our level, if an assistant coach is here more than four or five years then something is wrong. It says a lot for the people we had that other programs want them."

With Schuberth and Lowery both out of the mix for the recruiting period that began Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 5, Southeast was able to successfully petition the NCAA to allow third assistant Keno Davis to recruit off campus.

Davis, who as the Indians' limited earnings assistant coach is not normally allowed to be involved in off-campus recruiting, is also reportedly a prime candidate to be moved up to one of the program's top two assistant posts. Davis has been at Southeast since Garner took over the program four years ago.

Official practice for the 2001-2002 season begins Oct. 13.

Otahkians need coach

Southeast women's basketball coach Ed Arnzen is also in the market for an assistant coach, although his situation is not as pressing as Garner's.

Ann Klapperich, who served as Arnzen's third -- or limited earnings -- assistant the past two years, recently stepped down to become a graduate assistant in the school's strength program as she pursues a master's degree.

"Ann did a good job for us, but she wanted to go back to school and her classes would have interfered with her coaching," Arnzen said.

Alan Eads and Lisa Pace will return as Arnzen's top two assistants. Arnzen said he hopes to fill Klapperich's position by early next month.

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