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Thread: Head coaching search begins

  1. UL Basketball Head coaching search begins

    LOUISIANA Là — It didn’t take long for word to spread through the collegiate basketball word.

    Before Jessie Evans had been introduced as the University of San Francisco’s new head coach at a 3:30 p.m. (CDT) West Coast press conference, and before UL Lafayette athletic director Nelson Schexnayder had his own press conference at 4 p.m. at the Cajundome, phone lines were buzzing and FAX machines were whirring.

    “We’ve got what I consider to be eight to 10 quality candidates already,” Schexnayder said Thursday afternoon. “A lot of head coaches and assistant coaches from collegiate programs have already been recommended to me or have expressed interest.”

    Those applicants and interested parties are probably the tip of an iceberg that will expand over what Schexnayder hopes will be a short interview period.

    “I don’t want to put myself under the gun and set a timetable,” he said. “We hope it would be done in two or three weeks, but however long it takes. It’s never a good time to have to hire a coach, but there’s always a worse time.”

    Schexnayder did name eight-year Cajun assistant Robert Lee as interim head coach, effective immediately, during the transition period. The naming of an interim coach is unprecedented in recent years for any University of Louisiana Ragin' Cajun sport.

    Schexnayder said that contract negotiations with Evans continued through Wednesday morning, when the seven-year Cajun mentor was presented with a contract package for four years at what he called a “serious addition” to the salary Evans was paid under a three-year contract that expired this year. Evans flew to San Francisco following that Wednesday meeting and accepted the Dons’ post.

    Schexnayder said that the final offer would have made Evans the highest-paid employee in the UL Lafayette athletic department, and was for a four-year period when Evans was seeking only a three-year deal.

    The rest of the story

    Dan McDonald
    dmcdonald@lafayette.gannett.com

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