OGDEN — The search for the sixth head women’s basketball coach in Weber State history is just more than a week old and the process is moving along.
Bethann Ord was announced as the new head coach at Binghamton University on June 15 after seven seasons at WSU, entering athletic director Jerry Bovee into the second search for a women’s basketball coach of his tenure.
“There’s a lot of interest in the program. There seems to be more interest now than what I remember from when we conducted the search before,” Bovee said. “It seems to be there’s more understanding or interest or notoriety about the program. We’ve had two 20-win seasons over the last three years and I think that’s built some momentum toward the potential.”
Ord was 77-137 (.360) at WSU, including a 2-56 start, but coached the Wildcats to records of 23-12 and 21-11 in two of her last three seasons. The Wildcats finished the 2017-18 campaign fourth in the Big Sky, Ord’s best finish in seven seasons.
The Weber State women have won the Big Sky regular season twice — in the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons under coach Carla Taylor. Those seasons are also the only times the Wildcats have won the Big Sky tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
“The next step is to compete for the Big Sky championship. We think we’re capable of that, we think we have the facilities to do that,” Bovee said. “I don’t see why there’s any reason why we shouldn’t be able to build a program that puts us in a spot each year to compete for a Big Sky championship.”
He mentioned culture and recruiting focus as key components of evaluating candidates.
“You want to hire the best coach and the best fit for the culture of our program and … mesh and match what we think is important here — but also with an eye toward understanding the demographic of the state and how to compete for the best athletes,” Bovee said. “I’d like them to have an understanding of how our state works and to be able to recruit Utah, and go out to find the best athletes we can bring to our campus.”
Bovee, who is in his ninth year as athletic director, is conducting the search by leading an on-campus committee and will not use a search firm for the process, which he says is about to enter the interviewing stage.
“There’s a good interest in the program and we’re vetting those (candidates) now,” he said. “I hope we move along quickly and would be able to announce a new head coach in the coming weeks — a week or two.”