Kansas University moved three steps closer last week to naming Stephen F. Austin coach Brandon Schneider as its next head women’s basketball coach.
The search committee headed by KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger interviewed Schneider on Tuesday, Arkansas-Little Rock coach Joe Foley on Wednesday and Wichita State coach Jody Adams on Thursday.
Schneider had the inside track on the job entering the interviews and widened the gap based on the three finalists’ interviews, according to those with knowledge of the process.
The ultra-intense Adams’ case was not helped when the Wichita Eagle revealed in a Friday report that four players, including two starters, are transferring from the program. Adams has won big at the Missouri Valley Conference school but has had an unusually high transfer rate, which many trace to the tension-filled nature of her practices.
Foley, who has coached UALR to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, reportedly is involved in talks with his current employer regarding a contract extension.
Barring a last-minute change of heart by one or both of the sides, or a snag in contract negotiations, Schneider could be named as fired Bonnie Henrickson’s successor early this week. Friday is the first day of a weeklong open evaluation period for recruiting, an opportunity any new coach would not want to miss.
A native of Canyon, Texas, Schneider played at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas (1991-95). He spent the next three seasons as an assistant coach at Emporia State, where he took over as head coach in the 1998-99 season, his first of 12 years in that position.
Schneider coached the Lady Hornets to the NCAA Div. II women’s basketball Final Four in his first and final seasons at the MIAA school and won the school’s first national title in any sport in 2010. He is the winningest women’s basketball coach in Emporia State history with a 306-72 record.
In five seasons at Stephen F. Austin, Schneider has a 95-66 overall record and a 57-29 mark in Southland Conference play at the school located in Nacogdoches, Texas. The Ladyjacks have won back-to-back Southland Conference regular-season titles with a combined record of 29-7. His teams went 28-22 in conference games in his first three seasons. The Ladyjacks have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2006 and lost in the first round of the WNIT this year, concluding a 23-8 season.
Schneider and wife, Ali, have two sons, Cash and Cole.