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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, May 26, 2001

Wahine softball coach Coolen says he wants to return

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Bob Coolen's status as the University of Hawai'i softball coach might be resolved during a June 5 meeting with UH assistant athletic director Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano.

Coolen's three-year contract expires June 30, and no contract talks are scheduled.

But he is set to meet with Moniz for the program's annual evaluation. Moniz oversees the women's sports programs.

The meeting, Coolen said, "might be the time I'm approached" on contract matters.

"I would prefer to come back," Coolen said. "I have a very big stake in the program."

In 10 years as head coach, the Wahine have qualified for the NCAA regionals five times, including this season. He also served as an assistant for two years.

Coolen originally was signed to a three-year contract under the school's rollover system, in which a year was added — a rollover — to the contract after each season to replace the year that had passed.

In 1998, the UH Board of Regents replaced the rollover system with fixed-year contracts. At that time, Coolen received a three-year contract.

Coolen declined to say whether he will hire an agent to negotiate his contract. He also declined to speculate on his future at UH.

"I would rather see what the future brings in the next couple of weeks," he said. "I would like to see something moved on."

Coolen earns about $50,000 annually.

The fixed-year contracts have not led to set negotiation periods. Last year, football coach June Jones received a three-year extension in the second year of his five-year contract. But basketball coach Riley Wallace's three-year contract is now down to 11 months, and men's volleyball coach Mike Wilton's one-year contract will expire on Thursday.

"I'm not sure of the protocol," Coolen said. "I haven't been approached. I haven't started any discussions. I'm just waiting to go through the process."