DSU to conduct 2 on-campus interviews for head women’s basketball coach

Dickinson State will conduct two on-campus interviews for its vacant head women’s basketball coach position.

Athletic director Tim Daniel said Tuesday that the school will interview Northwestern State (La.) assistant women’s basketball coach Bob Austin on Friday and Hannibal LaGrange University head women’s basketball coach Caleb Harrison on Monday.

A third applicant set for an on-campus interview, former Air Force Academy assistant women’s basketball coach Kellie Johnson, withdrew her application this week.

Daniel said a five-person search committee, which includes himself, selected the three candidates from a pool of 56 applicants. The position also includes duties as an assistant sports information director.

“We were very happy with the pool we had,” he said. “Obviously we had a large number of applicants to look through from all over the country. It took quite a bit of process just to filter through it all.”

The new head coach would replace Andre Goldberg, who resigned after three seasons in which the team compiled a 40-45 record. DSU becomes a member of the Frontier Conference next season.

Austin had been either an assistant or graduate assistant coach at Northwestern State from 2005 to 2012. His departure from the university followed the resignation of former head coach Jennifer Graf in April.

He started his coaching career at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colo., and graduated from Alaska-Anchorage. He received his Masters of Science in sports administration from Northwestern State in 2007.

Harrison is a native of New Zealand and has one season of experience as a head coach at Hannibal LaGrange. The NAIA Division I team went 17-14 last season and Harrison’s resume states that he recruited American Mideast Conference Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year.

The Quincy (Ill.) Herald-Whig reported June 1 that Harrison resigned from his head coach position after one season for unspecified reasons.

Daniel said Harrison comes with a recommendation by legendary former Northern State head coach Don Meyer.

Harrison has spent time as an assistant coach at Southwest Baptist University (NCAA Division II), former Dakota Athletic Conference school Dakota State and Lambuth University (NAIA Division I). He received his Masters of Science degree in sports coaching from Indiana State in 2006.

Daniel said the candidates will have all-day interviews, which will include time with several university groups, DSU President D.C. Coston and the alumni- and supporter-run Blue Hawk Booster Club.

The search committee included Daniel, faculty athletic representative Lori Hauf, head men’s basketball coach Ty Orton, head softball coach Kristen Fleury and head cross country coach Mike Nekuda.

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