UH-Hilo Soccer Coaching Search Continues
On Sepetmber 5, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s soccer team opens their season in Honolulu against Cal State San Bernardino. The Vulcan men open the following day, also against Cal State San Bernardino in Honolulu.
While teams across the country are beginning to prepare for the upcoming season, UH-Hilo is still trying to identify its next coach for both men’s and women’s soccer programs.
Earlier this year, Athletic Director Dexter Irvin announced that both head coaching positions, which were previously part-time jobs, would be combined into one full-time position. The Director of Soccer position would mean that both programs would be coached by one person instead of two.
According to an athletic department spokesman, forms were submitted on February 1 by athletics officials within the university to create the new position. The Director of Soccer position was approved four and a half months later on June 20.
On June 30, an official job posting was placed on the university’s website announcing the position and its qualifications. Previously, this step was not necessary because the individual coaching positions were part-time, or casual, hires, that were created within the athletic department.
The application stated that July 11 was the deadline for applications to be submitted to the school.
According to a University release, both head coaches from last season were not returning to their positions. Men’s coach Ziggy Kortyosky took a position with Antigua GFC in Guatemala as Director Tecnico. Unity Bedingfield, who coached the women’s team in 2012, recently became the head coach at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
Monday’s announcement by UH-Hilo said that nearly 50 candidates applied for the newly created position. The deadline for applications to be sent in was July 11. The online job posting lists the pay range as “negotiable.”
“We made a commitment to our soccer programs by creating this full-time, permanent position,” said UH-Hilo Associate Athletic Director and Search Committee Chairwoman Pam Knox in the release. “The resumes and letters of introductions have shown that we have a good pool of candidates with various experiences in community building, player recruitment and development as well as program building. The committee’s responsibility now is to find the best candidates for the position, interview them and submit our recommendations to Athletic Director Dexter Irvin.”
Knox could not say how many people are serving on the committee. She also couldn’t say who is serving on the committee.
Irvin said Thursday that the selection committee conducted interviews this week with an unspecified amount of candidates. A list of finalists for the position could be released on Monday, and Irvin hopes to announce his hire by the end of next week.
When asked if the delay in approving the new position created an additional hardship on his department, Irvin pointed to the timing of the search as an issue.
“Anytime you hire coaches that are not in a normal cycle, then it created problems,” Irvin stated. “When basketball’s season is over, if we can’t hire the basketball coach in March and April, then it creates difficulties. When soccer season is over in December/November, if you can’t hire a coach in that cycle, then it creates difficulties.”
Irvin noted that despite things outside of his control, his department has made strides to improve its hiring process.
“What I can try to control is our processes within athletics.” said Irvin in a phone interview. “We have already implemented a better hiring process. There’s not guesswork every time, so to speak, that I think has occurred in several positions in the past.
“It’s inclusive from notifying the media to when we advertise. The things that we can control and the things we can qualify, we’ve done that.”