Here are some highlights of Wyoming athletics director Tom Burman’s teleconference Tuesday following the firing of men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer on Monday.
Burman said prior to the season Schroyer asked for a performance evaluation at the midway point of the conference season. Last Saturday’s 59-56 loss at home to Colorado State marked the first game of the second half of league play. UW is currently 8-15 overall, 1-8 in the Mountain West and has lost six straight.
“It just became clear that changes were imminent and I was concrend about the negatively surrounding the program,” Burman said. “The distractions that were occuring for coaches and kids. I just felt like rather than walking around in egg shells for the next month, if this thing was going to happen we might as well deal with it right now.”
After a 69-62 home loss to No. 7 BYU last Wednesday, Schroyer mentioned a couple of times about the negativity surrounding the program. Maybe that was based on his talk with Burman about the program, and a precursor of things to come? The BYU game marked the end of the first half of the conference season. Here is the blog post I had after with Schroyer’s comments after the game: http://wyomingcowboysblog.com/2011/02/02/schroyer-talks-about-negativity/
Burman said he will talk with UW President Tom Buchanan in the next 24 to 36 hours to make sure they are on the same page as far as what they will look for in a new coach. Burman also said UW will hire a search firm to do much of leg work in screening potential candidates, and will also form an small, in-house interview committee.
Here’s what Burman had to say on a few other items:
On what kind of candidates UW will look at:
“We want to take a hard look at seated Division I head coaches and highly successful assistant coaches at high-level programs. We want to look at coaches who are not coaching today. I’m a believer that there are situations where a coach may have been let go by another school and two or three years later he’s prepared to be a head coach today. We don’t want to exclude everybody. But I would say that would be a priority focus.”
A source told me this morning that former Laramie County Community College men’s basketball coach Rodell Davis, who is currently an assistant at Providence, is interested in the job, or even to be on the new coaching staff.
On the financial package for the new coach:
“We’re going to be significantly more aggressive financially than we were with coach Schroyer. We’re in a much better financial position today than we were four years ago. When you look at the top half of this league, you’ve got a few coaches making above and or near $1 million. That isn’t going to happen at the University of Wyoming.”
Schroyer made between $350,000-$400,000 in his total compensation package annually.
Will interim coach Fred Langley will be a candidate?
“I haven’t talked to Fred about whether he’s going to apply for the position. The situation is this, anyone can be a candidate for the job. If he chooses to apply for the job, it’s his choice. Right now Fred is 100 percent focused on those young men and trying to get them where they can do the best they can over the remainding part of the season.”
Not exactly a glowing endorsement, is it?
On if this hire needs to be a “home run” to re-energize the fan base:
“In the short term the answer might be yes, but we’re not going to allow ourselves to think short term. That’s where you get yourself in trouble. We’ve got to prodcuce a good product that people are excited to see and they’ll come back. We’re not hiring to make a press conference.”
On whether a coach will be named before the end of the season:
“It would be highly, highly unlikely.”
For more on this, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com