Tahlequah Daily Press

NSU Sports

April 3, 2014

Still searching

Northeastern State is currently in the midst of finding Larry Gipson’s successor as men’s hoops coach


Larry Gipson announced his impending retirement on Feb. 16. Gipson’s final game as Northeastern State’s basketball coach ended up being on March 8.

Now, nearly a month since the RiverHawks were ousted from the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association tournament in Kansas City, Mo., NSU is still in search of Gipson’s successor.

But NSU Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth said the hire of a new coach isn’t too far off.

“The middle of April is my goal,” Duckworth said in a recent interview with the Tahlequah Daily Press. “With spring break, the search was practically ‘on hold’ due to everyone’s schedule.”

Asked if he could divulge any possible names related to the ongoing search, Duckworth opted to remain mum. Instead, he offered up an overview of how things are going.

“The search is progressing nicely,” said Duckworth, who added that he was going to conduct more interview via Skype this week.

Since taking over at NSU in 2011, Duckworth has hired coaches in baseball (Travis Janssen), softball (Clay Davis), tennis (Amanda Stone) and football (Rob Robinson). Now he’s set to hire a coach in a sport he’s very familiar with. Duckworth coached basketball at Belhaven College in Mississippi and at Huntingdon College in Alabama.

But does Duckworth’s background in basketball have any impact in his hiring process?

“Perhaps,” he said. “The biggest difference is how I drill down on candidates’ philosophy, given my background. I have to be convinced that our next head coach is grounded in a sound philosophy in running our program.”

All of Duckworth’s coaching hires at NSU have included candidates with credible coaching experience. He’s sticking to that same guideline in the men’s basketball search.

“Coaches from every level have expressed interest in our position,” Duckworth said. “(Division) II experience is certainly a plus, but I have little preference on intercollegiate level beyond full-time college basketball experience.”

The ideal candidate will also have an admiration for what Gipson was able to accomplish during his 17-year career at NSU.

“I want someone who not only wants the position, but has an appreciation for being our head coach,” Duckworth said. “I need to have great chemistry with my next head coach, and the person needs to fit into NSU, NSU athletics and northeast Oklahoma.

“I have a great relationship with Larry Gipson, so I would like that to continue with his replacement.”

Speaking of Gipson, is he in any way assisting in the hiring process of for whom he’ll hand the reigns over to?

“Larry is not in the business of lobbying for anyone to be our next coach,” Duckworth said. “However, Larry and I have had several conversations about the position and the potential candidates.”

Text Only
NSU Sports

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US