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Fans of the Green Bay Phoenix men's basketball program


Monday coaching search rumors

Posted by Brian Dickmann on March 30, 2015 at 11:10 PM

The search to replace former Green Bay Phoenix head coach Brian Wardle is underway. Already rumors of who is interested and who is under consideration have started to circulate.

Wardle accepted the head coaching job at Bradley University late Friday evening after nine total seasons at Green Bay, including the last five as head coach.

Monday brought about a few interesting names and nuggets of information on who could replace Wardle.

The most important news came when the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Scott Venci wrote that the school will not be announcing finalists for the coaching position like they did five years ago when looking for a replacement for Tod Kowalczyk, who left to become the head coach at Toledo.

The hiring process will move much quicker than the last time around. According to Venci, Green Bay athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie will interview candidates this weekend in Indianapolis at the Final Four and that the process will be, according to his source, a "two week process and that a coach will be named next week."

As for who will be interviewed, Venci (who has been magnificent in covering this story for the Press-Gazette) tweets that St. Norbert College head coach Gary Grzesk will interview with Gillespie for the position on Friday in Indianapolis.

Grzesk, a Wauwatosa native, starred for the Phoenix from 1992-1996 and helped lead the program to three NCAA Tournament appearances as a player, including shutting down Jason Kidd in the 1994 NCAA Tournament. He won the team's Defensive Player of the Year award all four seasons at Green Bay.

He was an assistant coach at Youngstown State from 1996-2002 before coaching at Green Bay for the 2002-2003 season. He has been in the Division III ranks since then, leading St. Norbert to a 169-58 record in nine seasons in De Pere.

Another candidate, TJ Otzelberger, will also interview in Indianapolis this weekend, according to Roy Schmidt of Illinois Preps Bulls-eye. The 37-year old Milwaukee native is currently an assistant coach at the University of Washington after a lengthy stay as an assistant at Iowa State, where he was ultimately named associate head coach in 2010.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman tweeted earlier today that Michigan State assistant and former IPFW head coach Dane Fife as well as former Southern Illinois head coach Chis Lowery are potential candidates for the position.

Other possible names under consideration include Wisconsin assistant coach Greg Gard, UW-Stevens Point head coach Bob Semling, and UW-Whitewater head coach Pat Miller.

A few current and former players as well as all three incoming recruits have endorsed Brian Barone to be the next head coach. Barone has been an assistant at Green Bay since 2010 and was promoted to associate head coach this past summer. WBAY-TV's Chris Roth reports Barone will follow Wardle to Bradley if he does not get the head coaching job with the Phoenix.


UWGB will conduct coaching search differently this time - Green Bay Press-Gazette

UWGB recruits see Barone as 'good fit' - Green Bay Press-Gazette

Source: Barone wants Phoenix coaching job or will leave - WBAY-TV

Categories: Coaching search

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