Wolfe will interview for job
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
One former University of Hawai'i assistant coach is scheduled to interview for the women's head basketball coaching job and two others might be on hold amid indications of a reshuffling of candidates for face-to-face final-round meetings.
George Wolfe, a Kalani High graduate, former head coach at Portland State and a 13-year UH assistant, is scheduled to meet with the five-member search committee tomorrow, according to people familiar with the situation.
Wolfe, 55, is a coach and assistant athletic director at Georgetown Prep Academy in Maryland, and is an instructor at the prestigious Five-Star Basketball Camps. Wolfe did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Meanwhile, two other prominent local candidates said to have been in the mix just a day earlier, had yet to have heard back from the search committee yesterday. Gavin Petersen and Dana Takahara-Dias each said they had not heard from UH, which was scheduled to begin finalist interviews today.
Speculation around UH yesterday was that possibly one — or more — of the candidates might have been rejudged after re-evaluating the posted requirements.
Athletic director Jim Donovan declined to address the process, saying he could not comment on "personnel matters." He said he still hoped to have a decision on a replacement for Jim Bolla next week but said he "could not (guarantee) it."
Colorado assistant Patrick Harrington, who has not returned calls and e-mails, is still expected to interview. Harrington has come strongly recommended by former UH assistant football coach Mike Cavanaugh from their time together at Oregon State. Cavanaugh praised him as "an outstanding candidate. A real dynamic guy."
If Petersen and/or Takahara-Dias are not interviewed that might open the way for Cynthia Cooper-Dyke of Prairie View A&M, former Arizona coach Joan Bonvicni or ex-Southern California coach Mark Trakh. All three have been under consideration.
Cooper-Dyke was a member of the 1988 U. S. Olympic gold medal team, a two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player and is to be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame next month. She took Prairie View to the NCAA Tournament this year. But the NCAA also slapped the Panthers with scholarship reductions and probation for what were termed "major" violations in her first year.
Bonvicni, who was said to still be on the Mainland yesterday, declined comment through a friend. Bonvicni is one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history with a 612-294 record in 29 years at Arizona and Long Beach State. She was not retained by Arizona last year.
Trakh was 289-187 as a head coach at Pepperdine (199-123) and USC (90-64) before resigning from the Trojan program last month. He has taken his teams to five NCAA tournaments and was twice West Coast Conference coach of the year. He did not respond to requests for comment.
Jennifer Young, formerly of UC Riverside, said yesterday she had applied but had not heard from UH recently. And Jennifer Gross, a UC Davis assistant, was not available for comment.
Petersen, a former UH assistant, has been associate head coach at Idaho State and Idaho, his current stop. Takahara-Dias, a former Rainbow Wahine player and assistant, was head coach and athletic director at Moanalua High and now heads the department of customer service for the City and County of Honolulu.