FAU President Saunders pleased with progress of women's basketball coach and AD searches
Over the past couple days our message board has been alive with talk about the FAU women's basketball coaching search.
We've heard from many new voices sharing varied opinions about the program and the athletic department in general.
Figured those who've been part of the discussions and those who've simply been following along might like to hear from one more interested party.
As can be imagined, FAU President Mary Jane Saunders has also been paying attention to the progress of the coaching search.
“I'm hopeful we'll get someone good in there,” Saunders said while taking in an FAU baseball game. “I love women's basketball. I'm hopeful we'll get a good coach. It's a great opportunity for someone.”
Interim Athletic Director Melissa Dawson has been handling the search. Sources have told OwlAccess.com that over the past couple days LIU head coach Gail Striegler and Miami assistant Darrick Gibbs have been on campus to interview.
Some on our boards have criticized Saunders for allowing an interim appointment to make such a hire.
“Life goes on – that's what people forget,” Saunders said. “I've been an interim provost and interim dean. You have have to continue to do your business. In this business, there are big decisions every day of the week.”
In the month or so since Dawson has stepped into the AD role, she's achieved a contract agreement with basketball coach Mike Jarvis and reached agreement with the University of Miami on a football series.
“I think she's doing a very good job,” Saunders said.
Dawson says she is not a candidate to become FAU's full-time AD, nor is she on the advisory committee to help identify Craig Angelos' replacement.
Has Dawson experienced success because she isn't distracted by the AD search?
“Whether or not they are going for the job, you want them to be doing the job like they would do the job,” Saunders said. “We're not asking someone to be a place holder. You can't do that. You get an offer to play a good team like Miami, you've got to capitalize on that.”
And what about that search for the new AD? How's it going?
“I think very, very well,” Saunders said. “A lot, a lot of interest. A lot of really talented candidates. People calling from other schools, people calling from other leagues. I think we are doing very well.”
Though a new AD could be in place by the end of May, Saunders indicated that June might be a more realistic time frame.
As expected, she didn't offer any names, but provide one interesting tidbit.
A couple of her statements prompted me to ask her whether it was likely the new AD would come from outside the Boca Raton area.
“Yeah, probably,” she responded.
Owl Access Links
FAU Football: We tracked down a few of the FAU seniors who have a chance to play at the next level for their thoughts on the NFL Draft.
FAU Football: Meet FAU coach Carl Pelini at Touchdown Thursdays