UAA reopens search for new hockey coach

  • Associated Press
  • May 8, 2013 - 7:26 AM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The University of Alaska Anchorage is going into a second round of applicants to fill its open head hockey coach position.

The university announced in a news release Tuesday that a second hiring committee will consider applicants for the job that became vacant when UAA fired Dave Shyiak after eight seasons leading the Seawolves.

The school had previously gone through this process, selecting four finalists from an initial pool of applicants.

The finalists were Air Force associate head coach Mike Corbett; Damon Whitten, an assistant at Michigan Tech; Chris Brown, the head coach at Augsburg College in Minnesota; and Gary Heenan, the head coach at Utica College in New York.

But shortly after the last on-campus interview, university officials suspended the hiring process. That came after the UAA Hockey Alumni Association issued a no-confidence vote in UAA athletic director Steve Cobb after what it said had been years of estrangement. The vote followed another no-confidence vote approved by the Alaska State Hockey Association.

Those four men will remain in the finalists' pool, the university said.

The new hiring committee is comprised of alumni and supporters. Members include booster Jerry Dewhurst; Kelvin Christiansen, the university's first coach, who led the team from 1979 to 1996; UAA Hockey Alumni Association President Mark Filipenko; and former players Mike Scott and Gregg Zaporzan. Chairing the committee is John Stalvey, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the university's largest college.

Applications will be accepted until May 17. The committee will narrow the field and will conduct on-campus interviews with finalists.

It will then meet with the first committee to rank all applicants and present a recommendation to Cobb.

"We believe this new approach will address concerns raised by the hockey community, and allow the integrity of the original search process to stand," Bill Spindle, vice chancellor for Administrative Services, said in a statement. He oversees UAA athletics.

University officials said they hope to hire someone by June 15.

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