The departure of University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bear coach Matt Daniel to Marshall University has pushed athletic director Brad Teague into full throttle in the wake.
Teague said Tuesday that he would like to have a new head coach in place by July.
"I want to hire somebody very quickly and I move quickly," said Teague, who noted he would rather not go the interim route. "It’s an odd time to be looking for a basketball coach and several people still are. The recruiting period in July is very important in women’s basketball and I would like to have somebody in place by then.
"One thing that works to our benefit is that, through various networking and the coaching grapevine, a lot of people know about jobs before they even open. I’ve been flooded with emails and phone messages already from potential candidates. I think we can get someone pretty quickly. We will look at interested candidates on the current staff as well."
Tony Kemper, a veteran of both the men’s and women’s staffs at UCA, has been Daniel’s assistant head coach for two seasons. Caronia Randle, a former Sugar Bear staff, has been with Daniel all four seasons.
Teague said he and Daniel left on good terms and that he "helped him to the extent I could."
He said Daniel told him that he considered the Marshall position (Conference USA, FBS football) the next step to coaching at one of the top institutions in women’s basketball.
"His goals are to coach at the highest level and he feels this move gets him closer to those goals," Teague said. "A lot of times, basketball is perceived by football conferences and an FBS football conference is perceived to be a higher level of competition.
"I’m happy for him; disappointed he’s leaving. But you can’t blame anyone for trying to better himself and going up as far as conference level. He gave us four good years and did a fantastic job in recruiting. He took our program to the top of our conference. He left the program in very good shape and made it one of the best on the FCS level, I think."
Daniel’s salary was $100,000. With incentives, which pushed him up to $125,000 the past two years.
"I’m not sure what he will be making at Marshall, but I really don’t think that really made much of a difference," Teague said. "The main reason he told me was he wanted to take another step he felt was necessary to reach the next level."