Hofstra has basketball coaching search down to a 'shorter list'

Jeffrey A. Hathaway speaks to the assembled guests Jeffrey A. Hathaway speaks to the assembled guests and media as he is introduced as the new athletic director for Hofstra University. (May 15, 2012) Photo Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

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Hofstra athletic director Jeff Hathaway said he is closing in on hiring a new men's basketball coach.

An announcement could come shortly. Hathaway said he expects to have the coach in place well before April 17, which is national signing day for high school recruits.

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"I've talked to a lot of people," he said. "I talked to a lot of people who shared names of individuals who had interest."

Hathaway said he is down to a "shorter list" than when the process began 12 days ago. No names have been made public. "Coaches want confidentiality," Hathaway said. "Athletic directors or supervisors that I talk to for permission to talk to coaches want confidentiality because they don't want their fan base to think someone is being recruited away from them."

Hathaway's criteria? "It is helpful when you hire somebody who is a head coach or has been a head coach," he said. "I do think that is beneficial in many ways because they've been down that road, or they're in that situation right now, they know what the job takes. I think head coaching experience is something that is preferred, but again there's an awful lot of very good assistant coaches out there with extensive experience and I would not rule them out. You have to have a good recruiter. A very good friend of mine who is a college coach has a little saying: 'There's two types of coaches: coaches with great players and unemployed coaches.' Recruiting is vital to the process."

The Pride vacancy occurred when Hofstra removed third-year coach Mo Cassara, whose team went 7-25 this season and had six players arrested in off-court incidents. "The overarching aspect that goes without saying is I want somebody that is going to do their very best to protect the integrity of the institution," Hathaway said. "Follow the NCAA rules, support the academic mission of the institution and have the welfare of our student-athletes in mind at all times. Those in my mind go without saying.

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"I'm looking for somebody that is a household name within the business, I'm looking for somebody that when we announce this person the people in the business of college athletics and the people in the business of basketball in particular will say, 'Wow, that's a quality person, that's a quality coach.' "

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