Alaska-Anchorage announced Thursday night that it has suspended the search for a new head coach to “revamp both the committee and the criteria for candidates to become the fifth bench boss in program history,” according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The News reports that the move came after four finalists to replace Dave Shyiak, who was fired in March after eight losing seasons, visited town, interviewed with UAA officials and alumni, addressed current players and appeared at public forums over the past couple weeks.
“There was tremendous interest in the process, in the future of Seawolf hockey and in the coach selection,” UAA chancellor Tom Case said to the paper. “We had a search process that was good, but there was so much interest in the process we decided to open it up to further input and ideas.”
Case said the search committee will be altered and mentioned that it could include hockey alumni or members of the hockey community.
The initial search committee consisted of four UAA employees — men’s basketball coach Rusty Osborne, running coach Michael Friess, volleyball coach Chris Green and faculty athletic representative Stephen Strom.
Case added that the job is now open to new candidates, but hopes the initial four finalists – Air Force associate head coach Mike Corbett, Michigan Tech assistant coach Damon Whitten, Augsburg head coach Chris Brown and Utica head coach Gary Heenan – would remain interested in the job.
“I want to emphasize this expresses no lack of confidence in the four candidates, we will certainly work to keep them in the pool,” Case said. “We’re not in a big rush. It’s more important to get it right than get it quick.”