Before the drapes that separated Sonny Lubick’s farewell address from the volleyball team could be dropped and the podium packed up, speculation as to who would fill the legendary coach’s tenured shoes bounced from fan to fan, booster to booster and around the media circus.
Athletic director Paul Kowalczyk played the short list of possible replacements close to his chest immediately after the conference, saying that “I’m not going to get caught up in that, we’ll address that at a later date.”
Questions from the media mob directed at the second year AD attempted to confirm a timeline for finding a new coach, as quality replacements don’t stay on the shelf long in the volatile coaching market.
Kowalczyk acknowledged that the process truly begins today, saying that he has not held discussions with any coaches but has received contact from a handful of interested parties.
“We want to do this as quickly as possible,” Kowalczyk said.
Interestingly, Lubick shared his sentiments on the search, laying out what he thought would make a good coach for CSU.
“It’s a completely different job now than it was 15 years ago, but it still has some (similarities). It’s not the best job in the conference, sometimes you can get a little frustrated and you’ve got to be hanging in there,” Lubick said.
Rumors have circulated that the new coach could come from a CSU background, either as a former player or assistant coach – an idea that pleased Lubick.
“I know the thing that gave me my success here, was when I was here before, and I knew something about it, and I had felt it,” Lubick said. “I’d love that (to have a former player or coach replace him), but I don’t know if that would happen. They would do so well.”
Lubick’s co-offensive coordinator this year and longtime friend Dave Lay said that even though the records may not show it, the new coach will be stepping into a positive situation built by Lubick.
“There’s a heck of an offense here next year for somebody,” Lay said.
For players returning to the program next year, like senior tight end Kory Sperry, the frustration of a whirlwind termination announcement and subsequent search left a bad taste in the Tuesday night air.
“As of right now, we have no official coach. That’s what’s brutal for us. None of the players know what to do, we’re all lost right now,” Sperry said. “That’s what’s kind of shady about it.”
Sophomore defensive lineman James Moorehead agreed with Sperry, saying that the resignation of Lubick will not only change the atmosphere of the program as it is, but also could have a negative affect on recruiting and the future.
“It’s going to be weird coming in and not having all the same faces, but like coach Lubick says, it’s part of the business,” Moorehead said. “It’s the rotten part of the business, but it’s part of the business.”
Football beat reporter Nick Hubel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.