Alabama-Huntsville announced Saturday the five finalists to replace retiring head coach Doug Ross.
In alphabetical order with their current school affiliations, they are Tom Carroll (New England College), Tim Christian (Lake Superior), Danton Cole (Bowling Green), Doc DelCastillo (Nebraska-Omaha) and Lance West (Alabama-Huntsville).
Ross, who announced his retirement plans in January, led the Chargers to a 13-20-3 overall record. But a sweep of three games in the CHA tournament led that league’s fifth seed to an improbable NCAA berth and a thrilling 3-2 double-overtime loss to Notre Dame in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
“With the super finish to our season, we were extremely pleased with the quality and number of candidates that expressed interest in the position,” athletics director Jim Harris said. “Trimming the pool to the five finalists was a difficult process for the search committee and the five finalists are all extremely qualified. Narrowing the field further will be a tough task with such a talented group.”
Plans are for the search committee to wrap up on-campus interviews next week and present one or more candidates to UAH President Dr. Frank Franz and Harris for the final decision. Barring any unforeseen delays, the department plans to announce the third coach in the program’s history the first week of May.
Ross’ legacy began in 1982 taking over the reins of the program from Joe Ritch. A top-tier club team, Ross kept the momentum going leading UAH to back-to-back club national championships in 1983 and 1984. Soon after, the UAH program was elevated to NCAA status and the success continued for the Chargers.
In the late ’80s and early ’90s as the Chargers spent time in both the Division I and Division II ranks of the NCAA. Ross’ squads in the middle 1990s were ranked among the best in the nation as UAH won national titles in 1996 and 1998 and finished as runner up in 1994 and 1997. The 1998-99 season brought about a new era for the Charger program as UAH returned to the Division I ranks under Ross’ leadership.