Aug. 11, 2006

RSU Delays Announcement of Women's Basketball Coach   

Rogers State University officials had anticipated announcing a women's basketball head coach this summer, but the university now will delay that announcement for a few months.

The university went through an extensive search process and received hundreds of inquiries for the coaching position, which will be charged with starting up the women's basketball program in time for its fall 2007 inaugural season.

"We've identified the candidate we feel will be the right choice to start up our women's basketball program," said RSU athletic director Wren Baker. That candidate, however, is currently employed with another institution and announcing a hiring this close to the start of basketball season could cause difficulties for the coach, team members and both schools.

"Out of respect to the coach and the institution where that person is currently coaching, we feel that it would be best to delay an announcement until a more appropriate time," Baker said.

Baker, who is the university's first athletic director, began his duties in June. Among his top priorities was the selection of a women's basketball coach, but the search process took longer than anticipated due to the university's diligence in sorting through so many qualified candidates, he said.

"The delay in announcing the women's basketball coach is not ideal, but there will still be ample time for the candidate we've selected to put together a quality team for the 2007 season," Baker said. "Our candidate has a good track record for building winning basketball programs quickly, and we expect that will be the case here at RSU."

RSU announced in 2005 that it would add intercollegiate athletics to campus. The university was accepted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in fall 2005 and presently fields teams in baseball, softball and rodeo. Men's and women's basketball are slated to begin during the 2007-08 season.