New Coach search?

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New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:46 am

I assume that the Women's Final Four is similar to the Men's, in that the hotel lobbies and arena concourses are where interviews and negotiations occur for coaching openings...  

So, is Scott Leykam in Nashville right now, hanging out near a hotel lobby coffee stand?  

Does anyone have any scoop on the process/status?!  Question

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PurplePrideTrumpet on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:32 pm

It appears from Twitter that the Ducks have their new coach, and it is indeed Kelly Graves.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:33 pm

PilotNut wrote:Does anyone have any scoop on the process/status?!  Question
No, not really, but it won't be much longer now.....Monday or Tuesday of next week at the latest, I'd say.   Cool

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:43 pm

Santa Clara hires a new coach:

LINK

Santa Clara names JR Payne as new women's basketball coach

By Elliott Almond

ealmond@mercurynews.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Santa Clara named former assistant JR Payne as its new women's basketball coach Sunday.

Payne returns to Santa Clara after leading Southern Utah for five seasons. The Thunderbirds won a record 23 games this season while advancing to the Women's National Invitation Tournament -- the first postseason berth in school history.

Payne, a former all-West Coast Conference guard for St. Mary's, replaces Jennifer Mountain, who went 56-127 in six years at Santa Clara.

Payne, 36, was a Broncos assistant in the 2008-09 season.

"We were drawn to JR during our national search for so many reasons," athletic director Dan Coonan said in a statement. "She has impressive Division I head coaching experience -- completely turning around the Southern Utah program in her time there. Prior to her time at Southern Utah, she made quite an impression on our staff in her brief stay here as an assistant coach."

The Canadian also was an assistant coach at Boise State and Gonzaga after graduating from St. Mary's in 1999.

"She has a wealth of West Coast Conference knowledge as well," Coonan added. "We know her to be a person of great character and integrity who will fit in here famously. What I love most is her perennially cheerful and optimistic disposition -- it is infectious."

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves described Payne as one of the West Coast's most promising young coaches.

"She's a great teacher of the game and an exceptional recruiter," he said in a statement. "Her success at building programs can only be matched by her success at building young women."

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:56 pm

JR and Jennifer were of course assistants to Kelly at one time....both are very capable recruiters and coaches.  

I wouldn't be surprised if Jennifer ends up on Kelly's staff at UO.

I have spent a quite a bit of time with JR over the years (and Kelly and Jennifer too), and she is definitely a rising star.  I can only hope UP is aware of a another rising star who just happens to be a UP alum and has been an assistant with more than one good program since her graduation....we'll just have to wait an see.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:57 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:  I can only hope UP is aware of a another rising star who just happens to be a UP alum and has been an assistant with more than one good program since her graduation....we'll just have to wait an see.
Too much fiddle-farting around, in my estimation, has taken our esteemed alum out of the running.  Needing to make a decision, she has joined the TCU staff as the associate head coach.

The Letter-of-Intent signing period begins this coming Wednesday, and as UP still doesn't have a head coach, it's probably going to be pretty difficult to convince a recruit that may have multiple offers to come to the Bluff.  UP has one signed recruit, but there are no known prospects with two scholarships available.

With the three current assistant coaches still wondering their fate while assistant positions at other schools are being filled, it seems counter to any positive managerial style to leave them swinging in the wind while waiting to be told they will be retained or should be looking for new positions......let's get this done!

With the LOI period beginning Wednesday, it would seem imperative a decision should be made NLT Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:45 pm

It looks like Gonzaga has hired a new coach.

LINK

Gonzaga has hired a coach for the women’s basketball team to replace Kelly Graves. According to a recruit, the new coach will be current GU assistant Lisa Mispley Fortier.

Athletic Director Mike Roth will formally announce the hiring at 5 p.m. today [4/14/14].

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by wrv on Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Though there is absolute silence and no indication of who it is we might hire, the delay in our own hiring of a coach tends to suggest that we are not promoting an assistant under Sollars to the lofty status of head coach. But of course all things remain possible, I suspose.

There are 3 seniors on this squad. There appear to scholarships yet available. Times a wasting to get on the recruiting trail whomever takes charge.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:30 pm

PilotNut wrote:It looks like Gonzaga has hired a new coach.
Gonzaga has hired a coach for the women’s basketball team to replace Kelly Graves. According to a recruit, the new coach will be current GU assistant Lisa Mispley Fortier.

Athletic Director Mike Roth will formally announce the hiring at 5 p.m. today [4/14/14].
Hmm, I wonder if GU's other top assistant, Jodie Kaczor Berry has a chance to be UP's next head coach?  Just a thought.....but I know she's highly regarded and she was promoted to her current position as the GU top assistant in the summer of 2008 after Jennifer Mountain left to become the head coach at Santa Clara University.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by wrv on Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:13 pm

How likely is it that the Pilots have been turned down by some of the coaching prospects? I think likely. Did not read DD's prior post until after my own . . .hope that Scott is able to announce a hiring  by NLI day.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:32 pm

wrv wrote:How likely is it that the Pilots have been turned down by some of the coaching prospects? I think likely.
I doubt it......it would seem more likely that it has been a matter of just waiting for the pieces to fall into places at other schools before being able to zero-in on the top candidate.  I think it might be fair to say top "remaining" candidate, but that should in no way diminish the quality of the eventual hire.  

Face it, UP cannot afford to pay a head coach what a school like GU might, but if a top assistant like Jodie Kaczor Berry were available I'm quite sure UP would make every effort to sign her.  If a school is to sign a coach to a 5+ year contract, that school would do a lot of vetting and checking to make sure it's right hire for the school.....it takes time to get a coach that it is just the right fit......something we fans sometimes forget in our impatience for an answer NOW!  Rolling Eyes

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by wrv on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:36 pm

Or, the fans are not so impatient but the process is delayed for a number of reasons. Gonzaga certainly has filled its position in a fraction of the time UP has taken. There has already been ample time for a hire. Impatience of the fans is a misplaced characterization, but then zeal for your alma mater expresses itself in many ways . . .

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:53 pm

wrv wrote: Gonzaga certainly has filled its position in a fraction of the time UP has taken.

Maybe it was the bigger budget for a nationwide search or the demonstrated willingness to spend more on the program. Rolling Eyes

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:31 pm

More pieces falling into place, perhaps?

The Oregon State women’s basketball associate head coach Mark Campbell has left the program to take a job on Kelly Graves’ staff at Oregon......an official announcement has not yet been made.

Kelly knows Mark from Mark's days at Pepperdine and St. Mary's.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DTLegend on Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:01 pm

Cheryl Sorenson is the new women's head coach. Looks like they stayed internal, which isn't a huge surprise to me

http://portlandpilots.com/news/2014/4/17/WBB_0417141959.aspx?path=wbball

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by wrv on Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:08 pm

Congrats to Cheryl. I am a little surprised they hired from within given the significant lapse of time between when they knew Sollars was retiring and Cheryl's hiring. Regardless, Cheryl this take this program up a notch or two and see if we cannot finish in the upper half.

Go Pilots.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:49 pm

wrv wrote:Congrats to Cheryl. I am a little surprised they hired from within given the significant lapse of time between when they knew Sollars was retiring and Cheryl's hiring.

Agreed... interesting. I dont know if there is anything to read into that, or not....

Best of luck to Cheryl; I hope she is able to lift the program!

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:20 pm

Well, the silence around here is deafening....  This hire sure has failed the "create excitement and interest" test.  

I am struggling with hiring an assistant off a program that was not having a lot of success on the floor... In the last 15 seasons, the team had a winning WCC record just twice and an overall winning record just 4 times...  And we are not going in a new & different direction?!  

Is this a step forward for the program?  I will admit I have not followed the program too closely of late (which is another symptom), but it seems to be a step backwards, or sideways at best....  I hope I am proven wrong.  

I realize that there were probably not a lot of re$ources for this hire; but it has been known to be coming for years, and specifically this season for months... so was there a plan for this hiring?  If the plan was to stick with Sorenson all along, it would not have taken this long.  

More importantly, what is being done to increase the re$ources available?

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by wrv on Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:50 pm

All that may be true . . .the program may be treading water . . .but I would like to give Ms. Sorenson a chance. She has the experience and the commitment. The U was also able to reach a financial accomodation with her, which I suspect, as you do, was an issue in the potential hiring of other candidates. Sometimes coaches without great resumes or high recognition turn out to be great hires . . .Eric Spoelstra fit that mold when the Miami Heat thought enough of him to give him the reigns. Ms. Sorenson may be better than folks think.

Interesting that Cheryl and not the first assistant was chosen.

Also curious that with the demands of recruiting why we would wait until after NLI day to hire her, creating an obvious disadvantage in securing recruits this spring. Note that our athletic director cited the need to recruit immediately but did not speak of the late start in his comments.

The late hire implies that Cheryl is someone to whom the athletic department turned after determining that other candidates were not going to accept or work out. But let's give her a chance to compete.


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Re: New Coach search?

Post by PilotNut on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:22 pm

yes, I hope she can succeed...

It is interesting that her current bio on the UP website gives zero insight into her past role on the UP bench; was she recruiting?  Guards?  Bigs?  Offense?  Defense?  We know more about her time at EWU and BCC:
Cheryl Sorenson, who played collegiately at the University of Washington and brought eight years of previous coaching experience to UP, was hired an assistant coach in June of 2011. A Portland native and a graduate of Clackamas High School, Sorenson spent the previous four years as an assistant coach at Eastern Washington University.

While at Eastern Washington (2007-2011), Sorenson assisted in every aspect of the program. Sorenson spent time coaching both the posts and the guards, she was EWU’s recruiting coordinator and she helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 Big Sky regular season title. Under her tutelage, forward Julie Piper became the first player in school history to be named the Big Sky Most Valuable Player, while guard Brianne Ryan landed on the all-conference first team.

Prior to landing with the Eagles, Sorenson served as the head coach of the women’s team at Bellevue Community College (Wash.) for three seasons (2005-07). After winning just four games her first year, Sorenson led the Bulldogs to 22 wins the next season and to an impressive 26-5 record in 2007. Sorenson was named the NWAACC North Division’s Coach of the Year after the remarkable turnaround.

Prior to arriving at BCC, Sorenson served as the head coach of the girls’ team at Eastside Catholic High School, also located in Bellevue.

Sorenson graduated from Washington in 2003 with degrees in both communications and psychology. She was a wing for the Huskies and she was a team captain during her junior and senior campaigns. Sorenson helped lead UW to two NCAA Tournaments, including the 2001 Regional Final, and a pair of WNIT berths. She garnered Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention accolades during her final season at the school.

While at Clackamas High School, Sorenson earned multiple All-American honors, while landing on the all-state first team and all-state tournament team two years in a row. Sorenson finished her prep career with 1,968 career points and she led the state of Oregon (24.8 ppg) in scoring during her junior campaign.

The article announcing her hire ( LINK ) doesn't shed any light on that, either.  She was not the head assistant...  

I realize that her quotes were being gracious as she was hired...  but if this is a "new era", well, what does that mean?!

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:26 pm

PilotNut wrote:Well, the silence around here is deafening....  This hire sure has failed the "create excitement and interest" test.  
I have to agree with you on that point, PN.

I like Coach Sorenson a lot, so I favor her hiring, but it's so hard for us outside the program to judge if she can change the direction of the program.  It's also difficult to say how much influence she had on the recruitment and personality of the team as the second assistant to Coach Sollars.

I had lunch with Cheryl and her fiance' just a couple of weeks ago and the subject of her interview or potential hiring never came up (nor should it have), but I'm quite sure AD Leykam did quite a bit of searching and interviewing before make her an offer.

Coach Sorenson will be changing her name on May 3 and heading off to Argentina for her honeymoon.....I just hope she had the opportunity to talk to some recruits and potential assistants in the midst of the whirlwind that is surrounding her life right now.

I think she'll do well......I also think it's up to the supporters of UP athletics help her generate some renewed interest in the Women's Basketball program.


Last edited by DoubleDipper on Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:41 am

Apparently Jazmine Foreman will remain at UP as a member of Coach Sorenson's staff.

Coach Foreman is a Vancouver, Washington native and played her collegiate ball at BYU.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Mon May 05, 2014 11:20 pm

The Coach is now a married lady.......

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Coaching Search Tidbit

Post by wrv on Wed May 07, 2014 7:14 pm

DoubleDipper wrote:
wrv wrote:How likely is it that the Pilots have been turned down by some of the coaching prospects? I think likely.
"I doubt it......it would seem more likely that it has been a matter of just waiting for the pieces to fall into places at other schools before being able to zero-in on the top candidate.  I think it might be fair to say top "remaining" candidate, but that should in no way diminish the quality of the eventual hire."  

****************************************************************************************************************************************
Below this line is not a quote from a prior post but it nonetheless has been set forth in the box because I cannot move it into regular text.





Just to confirm that we now know with some certainty that others were considered for the position of head coach and very likely declined offers. Per the Oregonian:


However, The Oregonian learned Wednesday evening that Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis offered Campbell a new contract with a base salary $150,000 for 2014-15 when Campbell became a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Portland earlier this spring, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Oregon State also provided The Oregonian with a draft of the unsigned contract.

Campbell turned De Carolis' offer down, the source said, and later left for Oregon shortly after new head coach Kelly Graves was hired for, essentially, the same amount of money he could have made at Oregon State this coming year.  

It at least partly explains the delay in the hire of coach Sorenson.

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Re: New Coach search?

Post by DoubleDipper on Fri May 09, 2014 3:47 pm

Hmm, I guess I'm not quite reading into the Oregonian article what others might, but I can say with assurance that OSU/UO Coach Campbell was NEVER offered the UP head coaching job.  

Yes, he may have been a candidate, as were a number of others, but in the end, and after a great deal of consultation with knowledgeable "basketball people," the final choice of Cheryl was the BEST choice.

Not only is Cheryl a local product with ties to the community that should become UP's primary recruiting ground, she is a coach the players respond to and respect.  Cheryl can carry on Coach Sollars' legacy at UP, but still recruit and coach in her own style instead of continuing with "same-old, same-old" approach that was not resulting in better recruits, more fans, or more wins.

UP was determined to hire a coach that was right for the school and right for the program. It may have taken awhile to sift through the available candidates before determining the BEST candidate, but  I think Cheryl was worth the wait.

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