Hargrove prepares for final games as coach; department searches for replacement


Selena Favela

Wichita State head coach Linda Hargrove applauds her players on a play. Shockers took the win with a final score of 69-68. (Feb. 10, 2017)

When Athletic Director Darron Boatright hired Linda Hargrove on Jan. 22, Hargrove made it clear that she only wanted to take the job for the remainder of the season.

As women’s basketball is closing up their season, Boatright and the athletic department’s search for a new head coach is starting to take shape.

“We prefer someone with head coaching experience, has ties to the midwest and/or Kansas and someone who is prepared to coach this program to a high-level of success on and off the court,” Boatright said.

When the question of whether or not the current assistant coaches on staff would be considered to fill the void, Boatright mentioned that “everyone will be considered.” Boatright said that the search would go from any coaches locally to any location nationally.

Since the opening, Boatright said that there have been daily contacts about the opening from coaches and representatives recommending someone for the job.

“Nowadays, email has made that very easy for people to reach out to us,” Boatright said. “We have said and continue to say that we will not speak to anyone directly until their season is complete.”

One of Boatright’s major qualities that he will be looking for in a candidate is how that coach relates to the student athletes. Hargrove, who will assist Boatright in the national search, also mentioned that was an important part of the role that person fills.

Hargrove’s abilities to connect with with the players has led the Shockers winning eight of their nine conference games.

“I don’t know that it’s any tool, it’s kind of just who I am,” Hargrove said. “I’ve always been the kind of coach that listens to players and tries to motivate in different ways and get players to work to together.”

What the players look for in their new coach, according to junior Diamond Lockhart, is someone that shows a lot of care for their players on and off the court.

“I like intensity, so an intense coach would be a good thing,” Lockhart said. “Someone who is a competitor and I think someone who is just an all-around good person will help us as far as reaching that expectation of getting to a championship and stuff like that.”

No matter who the new head coach is, Boatright expects the new candidate is going to be held to the same standard as the rest of head coaches in the other sports. He wants that candidate to make the student athletes’ experiences at WSU an enjoyable one.

“The experience the student athlete has during their four to five years on campus is very important,” Boatright said. “We in the department get to see a new (recruiting) class every year. As a student or student athlete, you get one time to do it. We want that to be as positive as it can be and put them in a position to be as successful as they can be.”