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Gillespie conducting interviews this weekend

Posted by Brian Dickmann on April 3, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Just one week after Brian Wardle jumped ship to become the head coach at Bradley, Green Bay athletic director Mary Ellen Gillespie will be conducting interviews to find his replacement.

Gillespie will interview candidates this weekend at the Final Four in Indianapolis.

This is in stark contrast to five years ago when former athletic director Ken Bothof, now at Northern Kentucky, was tasked with finding a replacement for Tod Kowalczyk. That process dragged out for weeks, involved search committees, and included publicly naming finalists for the position.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported earlier this week that the process would be different this time around and would not drag out as long as last time. The school also will not make public the finalists or candidates under consideration.

However, multiple reports have confirmed at least two of the candidates Gillespie will be interviewing this weekend in Indianapolis: former Phoenix guard and current St. Norbert College head coach Gary Grzesk and Green Bay’s current associate head coach Brian Barone.

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, taking the St. Norbert job in 2006. He’s led the Knights to a 169-58 record in nine seasons in De Pere.

Grzesk has the endorsement of both Dick and Tony Bennett to be the next head coach of the Phoenix.

Wardle and 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.

Other possible candidates include Michigan State assistants Dane Fife and Dwayne Stephens, Wisconsin assistant Greg Gard, former Southern Illinois head coach and current Kansas State assistant Chris Lowery, Florida Southern head coach Linc Darner, and Cardinal Strich head coach Drew Diener, among others.

With the April recruit signing period beginning on April 13, it is important that the process moves quickly. Depending on who the new head coach is, there will likely be roster turnover in the form of transfers and / or de-commitments from currently signed recruits. The Phoenix have 1 available scholarship as things stand right now.

A source told the Press-Gazette’s Scott Venci that the process shouldn’t take more than 2 weeks and that a coach should be named by next week.





Categories: Coaching search

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