Mississippi Valley State University women's basketball coach Nate Kilbert will be in town today to interview with Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic director Lonza Hardy for the UAPB women's basketball position.
Mississippi Valley State University women’s basketball coach Nate Kilbert will be in town today to interview with Arkansas-Pine Bluff athletic director Lonza Hardy for the UAPB women’s basketball position.
But Kilbert was not the first person Hardy will interview for the job. On Monday, Arkansas Baptist coach Dion Cross met with Hardy about the position.
“He is a good, young coach that has had a lot of success with the program there in Little Rock,” Hardy said. “He has a lot of good connections that could bring quality candidates into our program.”
Arkansas Baptist is a junior college and Cross led the team to a 22-9 record. It was the third straight winning season for Arkansas Baptist and the second 20-win season for Cross, who was hired in 2006.
Cross had to turn around the program at Arkansas Baptist and in his first three years, the team was 15-47. In the last three years, Cross has led Arkansas Baptist to a 62-27 record.
He has a die-hard commitment for the game and for his athletes,” Hardy said.
Kilbert is a coach Hardy is familiar with, and the two will become more acquainted with each other today. Hardy, who was once the MVSU athletic director, hired Kilbert as the women’s basketball coach of the Devilettes in 2001.
This past season, Kilbert led MVSU to the SWAC regular season championship and was named the SWAC Coach of the Year.
Hardy would not say his former hire was the front-runner.
“I will see how the interview goes and his level of interest in our program,” he said. “I will see based upon if he will be a good fit for our program and make that judgment (today).”
Hardy does not have any more interviews scheduled after today, though. Other candidates included former Arkansas associate women’s coach Tom Eatman and former UAPB women’s coach Danny Evans.
“Right now, nothing beyond what I have schedule at this point,” No one is ruled out and I will see (today) if I need to continue to contact candidates for interviews.
“Should it be a necessity for me to look some more, I feel I have a wealth of candidates I can look at before a final decision is made.”
Hardy said he is hoping to have the position filled by the end of the month.
He is also hoping to fill the open volleyball position, too. On Wednesday, Hardy interviewed current Kentucky State head coach Kyetta May.
“In five years, she has won a couple of conference championships,” Hardy said. “She has some real good qualifications.”
Kentucky State is an NCAA Division II university and May led the team to a 23-17 record, including 15-1 in her conference. KSU won its second straight SIAC championship, also.
May is a former volleyball player for Alabama A&M and she met with the UAPB volleyball team on Wednesday.
“She had a chance to meet a number of players on the team and they have already called my secretary to pass the word on to me that they were impressed with her,” Hardy said.