By Dave Wagner: Freedom New Mexico
Eastern New Mexico University is looking for a new men’s basketball coach.
The school announced Monday that it will not renew the contract of Shawn Scanlan for the 2009-10 season. Scanlan went 102-143 in nine seasons at the helm, but was done in by a 10-44 overall record and consecutive 0-12 marks in the Lone Star Conference South Division the past two seasons.
ENMU president Steven Gamble said Monday that the position will be advertised on Wednesday and a search committee has been formed. The committee will narrow the list of candidates to three finalists, and Gamble said the school would ideally like to have the position filled in a month.
“We plan to fill the position as soon as we can,” said Gamble, adding that the search would be nationwide. “As of this minute, we have nobody in mind.”
He said the school is seeking someone with at least five years coaching experience, although he didn’t specify at what level or whether the experience had to be as a head coach.
“Coach Scanlan committed (nine) years of his career to Greyhound basketball and we are grateful for his service to the university,” Gamble said. “He has a lot to be satisfied with during his tenure.”
ENMU athletic director Mike Maguire said he enjoyed working with Scanlan.
“If you look at where the program was, he did a great job getting it on track,” Maguire said. “This is not an easy place to recruit to.”
Scanlan said Monday night that he hopes to continue coaching somewhere.
“You go in hoping for that,” he said. “Who knows? You just try to put yourself in the position where (people) know you’re out there.”
Except for the past two seasons and his first campaign, 2000-01 when ENMU went 4-23, the Greyhounds were pretty competitive in the LSC.
From 2001-02 through 2006-07, Scanlan’s teams compiled a record of 88-77, winning South Division titles in 2003 and 2004, earning an NCAA Division II postseason berth in 2004 and making it to the LSC postseason tournament four times.
The last two seasons have been, in Scanlan’s own word, “disastrous.” But he said Monday night that there were extenuating circumstances.
The Hounds lost their two biggest players, Tommy York (back injury) and Jerry Prudhomme (tumor), for the year even before the 2007-08 season began. They also dealt with significant injuries and internal problems during the season.
This year, the team again faced numerous injury and occasional disciplinary problems, although not on the scale of 2007-08.
“There’s obviously a lot more to everything than meets the eye,” Scanlan said. “But I’m not going to shirk the responsibility.
“Over the year last year (2007-08), some things came into play that shouldn’t have but did; some of them you have no control over. Unfortunately, that set the table for this (season).”