How has last year’s passage of the Athletic Fee Referendum effected the hiring of coaches?
Earl Edwards—It’s really had a profound effect. The history of outstanding coaches has been one of the critical elements of our overall programmatic success. Before the passage of the referendum, I think we were in jeopardy of seeing the quality of coaching slip because we were simply not competitive in the market financially.
Since last winter, we’ve had three head coaching hires—Chris Carlson (men’s basketball), Charity Elliott (women’s basketball) & Jon Pascale (men’s soccer)—and all three are top caliber coaches who came from Division I programs—UCLA, Portland State & Stanford—with broad coaching and recruiting experience.
As you can see by the fact that the men’s basketball team won the CCAA Tournament, the women had 25 wins and for the first time, both earned berths in the NCAA Division II Tournament, the results of those hiring processes are already paying off.
I’m not sure we would have been able to hire any of those three without the passage of the referendum.