By Dave Wagner
Eastern New Mexico University has narrowed its search for a softball coach to three candidates, including Ron Landschoot, who filled in on an interim basis this spring.
The other finalists are Kevin Blaskowski, the head coach at Division II Southern Arkansas, and Travis Scott, head coach at Southeastern Oklahoma State, school officials said.
Landschoot and Blaskowski have already gone through the interview process. Scott, who led Southeastern to a 43-15 record, a second-place finish in the Lone Star Conference tournament and a South Central Regional berth this spring, was to be on campus today.
ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire said Monday the school hopes to have a head coach in place by the end of the week.
“We’re going to move on it quickly,” Maguire said. “We’re not going to dawdle.”
ENMU assistant football coach Mark Ribaudo, a member of the school’s search committee, said the six-member group will meet today or Wednesday after Scott’s visit.
“We’ll make a recommendation to the athletic director, and he’ll either accept it or reject it,” Ribaudo said. “If he accepts it, he will take that recommendation to (ENMU president Dr. Steven Gamble).”
Ribaudo said ENMU received 25 applications for the position, and the committee quickly worked it down to the final three. He said the committee was looking for candidates with head coaching experience and with a master’s degree.
“We’ve been very thorough, and we have three quality candidates,” Ribaudo said. “I would think we’ll find somebody who fits the bill.”
Scott has been the head coach for three years at Southeastern, compiling a 103-48-2 record with the Lady Savages. Blaskowski started Southern Arkansas’ program in 1999; although no figures were available for this season, his record through four campaigns with the Riders was 105-107.
SAU, a one-time member of the LSC, now competes in the Gulf South Conference.
Landschoot, who spent three years in the early 1990s as the head coach at New Mexico State, was hired on an interim basis just before the 2003 season began and led the Zias to a 24-29 record. Kathleen Rodriguez, who with husband James guided the Zias to the NCAA Division II national tournament in 2001, resigned in mid-January to accept a position at Division I Texas-El Paso, which will begin play next year.