Quick Change-Up for UAA Women's Basketball Coaching Staff
UAA women basketball players have seen three coaches since the end of the 2011-12 season
ANCHORAGE – For the third time since the end of the 2011-12 college basketball season the Seawolves on the UAA women’s basketball team got another new coach.
Ryan McCarthy will now be leading the ‘Wolves from the bench in the upcoming season. He said he is excited to be a part of “Seawolf Nation.”
"Having grown up in Alaska, I take great pride in representing this institution and welcome the challenge of building on the winning tradition of the women's basketball team,” said McCarthy in a statement Monday.
Just two weeks ago Nathan Altenhofen was expected to lead the women to another powerhouse season. For the last five years UAA women have been a top ten competitor for Division II women’s basketball.
Last Friday Altenhofen abruptly resigned. And only university officials know why.
“It's university policy, we don't discuss personnel matters directly, but we know it's obvious to everybody. You make a coaching change in mid-August, its obvious we are dealing with some very serious issues, but the issue did not involve our players and it did not involve NCAA violations," said UAA Athletics Director Steve Cobb.
The first coaching change came when long-time head coach Tim Moser left. He departed following six successful seasons, the last with 30 wins and five losses, which ended with the team ranked seventh nationally.
Moser said he left because it was simply time to move on.
Only weeks after Moser resigned, UAA announced Altenhofen’s employment. He began his short stint at UAA and left without ever coaching a game – a blow for the team.
"They are stunned, it is very unusual. Most players don't have a coaching change in their career and due to circumstances out of our control, we've had two in a very short time,” said Cobb. “And it's unusual for us because we have had such stability in our coaching staff, so they are taken back little, but they are competitive and anyone who has seen them play know they are tough.”
McCarthy was born in Anchorage and left when he was a child, but Cobb said, “It was long enough for him to become a Seawolf fan” and it was part of what “fueled the “desire to come back.”
McCarthy will be coming to the Last Frontier from long-time UAA rival Northwest Nazarene, where he worked for five years. His time with their Crusaders followed a professional ball career in Oregon and Europe.
From a fan's perspective, Cobb said you will only see small changes, which are also due to the fact that previous UAA stars have graduated and new ones are stepping up.
“I am more comfortable with the changes you won’t see. Very similar defensive philosophy and very aggressive pressure defense. Offense, I am sure you will see some differences because mostly he will be utilizing players differently.”
Cobb said he thinks that McCarthy will be a great fit for the team and overall he is happy with the hire, despite the quick decision. He said McCarthy is someone that the university was familiar with and someone they had researched extensively the last hiring round.
The women will be back on the court in November for what is expected to be another powerhouse season.