Fernandez awaits word from UNLV
USF fans should know in the next few days whether women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez has been offered the head coaching job at UNLV, which has wrapped up interviews with six finalists, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Fernandez, who has guided USF to the postseason in each of the last five years, is the only male finalist of the six. The most experienced of the group is longtime UCLA coach Kathy Olivier, a 1982 UNLV graduate, and the other finalists are two BCS-conference assistants (Rutgers' Carlene Mitchell and Washington's Katie Abrahamson-Henderson) and current midmajor head coaches (UTEP's Keitha Adams and Northern Arizona's Laurie Kelly).
As UNLV athletic director Mike Hamrick searches for the Rebels' best match for a coach, he faces a question all college administrators face: Should the coach of a women's team be male or female? Of UNLV's other eight women's teams, six are coached by women, the exceptions being swimming and diving, which has one coach to oversee the school's men's and women's programs, and tennis.
Fernandez is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract he signed in 2005 and has led the Bulls to the only postseason appearances in the program's history, including the NCAA Tournament in 2006. The questions now: Can he beat out Olivier for an offer from UNLV? If he does, how will USF respond?
-- Recruiting update: Krys Faber, the center from Los Angeles Ribet Academy, will sign with DePaul after visiting there last weekend, according to recruiting site WeAreDePaul.com. USF had hoped to be able to land a campus visit from Faber, but got into the recruiting process too late. The Bulls are still targeting IMG's Teeng Akol, as well as suburban D.C.'s Frank Ben-Eze. It looks as though USF has backed off on recruiting another D.C.-area target, Maurice Sutton, who now has Kentucky and Indiana among his suitors.