Titans' Search for Coach Heating Up

The pace is expected to pick up soon in Cal State Fullerton's search for a men's basketball coach.

Steven Murray, a biology professor who is chairman of the search committee, said the committee hopes to have its list of top candidates ready this week.

"After that, a lot will depend on the schedules of the people we'll be talking to, as well as the schedule of the members of the committee," said Murray, a former interim athletic director at Fullerton.

Murray said no decision has been made on the number of candidates who will be interviewed. "Typically, though, we've brought in four to six people for jobs such as this one." he said.

Utah assistant coach Donny Daniels still appears to be the front-runner. He is a former Titan player and assistant coach. Daniels, an assistant for Rick Majerus at Utah for 11 years, was one of three finalists when Bob Hawking was hired five years ago after Hawking spent one season as interim coach.

Cal State San Bernardino Coach Larry Reynolds, who said he was contacted by Athletic Director John Easterbrook, also is expected to be a leading candidate.

Reynolds turned around San Bernardino's Division II program quickly. His first team there was 12-15, but the Coyotes were 23-8 and 23-6 the past two seasons. His 1998-99 team reached the eight-team national tournament before losing in the first round. His team this season won the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championship but was beaten in the regional semifinals.

Reynolds is a former assistant coach at UC Riverside and San Francisco and a former UC Riverside player.

Other applicants include Cameron Dollar, the former UCLA guard who is now an assistant under Lorenzo Romar at St. Louis. Dollar was an assistant at UC Irvine for one year and was head coach at Vanguard for one season.

Danny Tarkanian, an assistant for his father, Jerry, at Fresno State for five years, said last week he also has applied.

HOMECOMING HOPES

If Chapman College, 17-4-1 and ranked No. 10 in the nation, advances to the Division III baseball World Series, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Panther Coach Rex Peters.

Peters, 34, and his twin brother, Reed, were born in Appleton, Wis., where Lawrence University will host the eight-team, double-elimination finals in May.

The brothers, who grew up in Colorado, were born in Appleton while their father, Rex Peters Sr., was playing for the Fox City Foxes, a Class-A minor league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

"Two weeks after we were born, the season ended," Rex Peters said. "We left for Colorado and I haven't been back since."

Reed Peters is baseball coach at the Air Force Academy.

HOW TO GET THERE

Since dropping to Division III six years ago, Chapman has competed as an independent and earned regional playoff berths in softball and baseball based on its teams' overall records and strength of schedules.

This season, the Division III management council increased championship brackets in team sports to reflect a ratio of one playoff spot for every 7 1/2 Division III teams in the country, up from one for every eight teams. It also divided schools into three divisions, or pools, to make it easier to hand out playoff spots.

Pool A features conferences with seven or more members. Each conference winner will receive an automatic berth in the playoffs.

Pool B is for independents, such as Chapman, and all conferences with fewer than seven schools. Postseason berths will be allotted, much as they are now, based on such factors as strength of schedule and records.

Pool C will be for all others, including high-ranked teams that failed to win their conference titles.

About 20 of the playoffs' 42 spots will be for at-large bids. Winners of eight regional tournaments advance to the World Series.

"We're in pretty good shape to get a regional berth with our current ranking," Peters said. "As long as we keep rolling along we'll be OK."

Peters points out that the Panthers have defeated several prominent teams so far, including Cal Lutheran (twice), last year's Division III runner-up; William Paterson of New Jersey, and perennial top 10 power Eastern Connecticut State.

The Panthers split a two-game series with Cal State Hayward over the weekend. They play Occidental Tuesday.

HONORED

Several college basketball honors have been announced.

Senior Jamie Gast, a 5-foot-8 forward for Concordia, was selected to the women's NAIA All-American third team. Gast ranked No. 11 in the nation with a scoring average of 19.8 points.

Kelly Boeke and Becki Huddle of Vanguard received honorable mention, as did Concordia guard Josh Giles on the men's team. A senior, Giles finished with a school-record 2,179 career points.

Several players were named NAIA Academic All-Americans.

Women's selectees include Rachel Fikse (Vanguard), Kathy Hernando (Vanguard), Marisa Emde (Vanguard), Kristen Kopp (Concordia) and Huddle (Vanguard).

Men include Matt Sebastian (Concordia), Tyson Aye (Concordia) and Chris Clausen (Concordia).

Men's player Axel Margaritha and women's player Holly Goodridge, both seniors at Hope International, were selected to the All-Western Region first team by the National Christian College Athletic Assn.

Margaritha ranked second nationally in rebounding (12.1 per game) and also averaged 12.9 points. Goodridge averaged 12 points and 9.3 rebounds.

At Chapman, NCAA Division III District VIII Academic All-American honors went to junior men's soccer players Scott Martino and Chris Retzer. The team (15-4-1) made the playoffs for the third consecutive season last fall.

Chapman women's basketball player April Abeyta has been named a District VIII All-American.

Women's basketball players Shannon Anders, Kirsten Cappel and Cindy Oparah and women's swimmer Stacy Rosenberg, all of UC Irvine, earned Academic All-Big West Conference honors for winter. They maintained a grade-point average of 3.2 or better and participated in more than half of the team's competition.

*

Staff writer Paul McLeod contributed to this story.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
61°