Southeast assistant says knowledge of program is a plus

Friday, March 15, 2002

Alan Eads said he believes his Division I experience and familiarity with Southeast Missouri State University's women's basketball program have made him ready to take over as the Otahkians' coach.

"It's got to be an advantage, I would think. I've been down that road for eight years," he said Thursday. "The players seem to have a lot of confidence in me. They trust me to make the right decisions and I appreciate that."

Eads, a Southeast assistant coach the past eight seasons, was the last of three finalists to interview for the Otahkians' head coaching position vacated by Ed Arnzen, who retired after 19 seasons. Eads spent most of the day meeting with school officials.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M coach B.J. Smith was in town Monday and Missouri Western coach David Slifer interviewed Tuesday.

Eads, 51, is the only one of the three who has been involved with a Division I program, and he also made his mark as a head coach on the junior college level, going 199-37 in eight seasons at Moberly (Mo.) before joining Arnzen's staff at Southeast.

Moberly made five national tournament appearances under Eads, finishing third once and fifth once.

"I've shown at every level I can win," said Eads, who was also a successful high school coach before going to Moberly. "My eight years as an assistant coach here have been valuable and now I can put that together with my prior experience."

Eads said it would be a smooth transition if he took over as coach and fans would notice several changes on the court.

"I think every head coach has different philosophies, the way they like to do things," he said. "We'd open things up more on the offensive end, play a faster paced style, score more points.

"Defensively, we've been at the top of the conference the last few years so we'd want to continue that, but we would be more aggressive and pressure more."

Changes would also come on the sidelines.

"You will see a very intense person on the sidelines and in practice. That's just the way I am," he said. "If a coach is intense and motivated, I think that rubs off on the players."

Asked why he is the best person for the job, Eads said he believes he can take Southeast's program to another level. The Otahkians have been solid if not spectacular the past eight seasons, posting four winning records -- including a 16-12 mark this year -- and four losing records.

"I've proven I can win as a head coach and with my background and experience here, I just think I'm the person that's going to take this to the next level," he said.

Southeast athletic director Don Kaverman, who heads the selection committee, said the school has not established an exact date to hire a new coach, but could have the position filled by the end of next week.

(573) 335-6611, extension 132

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