Apr 172005
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

There is no specific deadline for selecting CSU's next women's basketball coach, but the application deadline is approaching.

With the departure of former head coach Chris Denker, who "mutually agreed" with Athletic Director Mark Driscoll to leave the team on April 6, CSU has already started looking for someone to hand the team's reins to.

Denker had one year remaining on his contract and will be paid an equivilant of one year's compensation according to Associate Athletic Director Gary Ozzello. Denker's contract lists that amount as $115,000, which CSU will have to pay in addition to the new coach's salary.

Applications for the head coaching position are due by April 25, after which the committee will interview three or four candidates, Ozzello wrote in an e-mail interview.

"We've received several applications and the committee will begin reviewing them sometime next week," Ozzello wrote.

No one has specifically expressed an interest in the position, but several people with ties to CSU and Fort Collins are possible candidates.

Former CSU assistant coach Curt Miller is now head coach at Bowling Green. Miller would not comment on whether he is interested in the CSU position, but he said he enjoyed his time assisting former CSU coach Tom Collen.

"It was a great time to be there," Miller said. "I worked with some great people like Tom Collen and Becky Hammon."

Miller just finished his fourth season with the Falcons and is coming off a season in which the team was 23-8 and made the NCAA Tournament.

"I brought that same Tom Collen blueprint to Bowling Green and I've had success with it," Miller said. "At this time, my focus is on Bowling Green."

Another former CSU assistant, Raegan Pebley, is head coach at Utah State. Pebley was a basketball player at the University of Colorado and played in the WNBA before going into coaching. After spending a few years at George Mason, Pebley moved back to be an assistant at CSU with Collen.

"I loved it," Pebley said of her time at CSU. "I met my husband at CSU. Besides that just the people I met and got to work with and the community were great. My experience at CSU has really helped me out."

Part of her reason for going to Utah State was it was an agricultural school like CSU.

"I like the kind of kids that are attracted to that kind of school," Pebley said. "Just blue–collar kids that are hard workers."

Pebley said she has not had time to think about the position at CSU because of the post-season deadline, but she thinks it is something to consider.

"Because of my time at CSU it deserves a lot of attention," Pebley said.

Former Wyoming head coach Cindy Fisher, who is an assistant coach at Nebraska, could also be a candidate.

Kelly Packard, head coach of the Colorado Chill, is also a potential candidate. Packard has lived in Fort Collins for the past 15 years and has coached the Chill the past two years. The Chill won the National Women's Basketball League championship this year with a 16-8 record.

Packard also said she was focused on the Colorado Chill, but she would keep her options open. As of Monday, she said she had not turned anything in.

"I'm in the process of trying to figure it out," Packard said. "I'm conversing with some people. It's a decision I have to act on pretty quick."

Packard said the ideal candidate would have a passion for coaching and helping young people grow.

"My passion is to challenge young women to grow as people," Packard said. "It's not just about athletics."

Pebley said she hopes the new coach is able to help guide the program to greatness as well as help the players.

"They need to really just serve the university and the players," Pebley said. "They need to help those kids and the CSU basketball program be all everyone knows it can be."

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