UAA's search for a new women's basketball coach didn't last long.
UAA athletic director Steve Cobb on Tuesday announced the hiring of Ryan McCarthy, right on the heels of Friday's announcement that first-year coach Nathan Altenhofen had resigned before coaching a game.
"The process was a little unusual for us because we were simply out of time," Cobb said.
UAA's season begins with a nonconference game Nov. 9, giving McCarthy less than three months to organize and prepare.
McCarthy, who spent the last five seasons coaching women's basketball at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, was a finalist in UAA's interview process after Tim Moser unexpectedly resigned last spring. Altenhofen's resignation came after the school had been investigating charges of "professional misconduct" against him, Cobb said last week.
McCarthy, 29, is on a family vacation in Mexico and could not be reached for comment. He is expected to arrive on campus Aug. 22, having agreed to a three-year contract with an annual salary in the $70,000 range, Cobb said.
"I believe he will hit the ground running," Cobb said. "He has a strong passion for basketball and a great reputation for doing things properly. We wanted him and he wanted us."
McCarthy most recently was associate head coach at Northwest Nazarene. As a player, he was a deadly three-point shooter for the Crusaders. He graduated from Northwest Nazarene in 2006 with a degree in social science education.
McCarthy will take over a program that enjoyed tremendous success under Moser, reaching six straight NCAA Division II tournaments. The Seawolves reached the Elite Eight for the third time last season, after winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a 30-5 overall record.
NNU is also a member of the GNAC, and Cobb said McCarthy's familiarity with the conference is a plus. McCarthy is also familiar with Alaska, having been born in Anchorage.
"He was here long enough, he was a Seawolf fan as a kid," Cobb said.
UAA's roster will look a little different for McCarthy than it did for Moser last season. Four players have left the Seawolves, including All-America honorable mention pick Haley Holmstead, the GNAC Newcomer of the Year who is coming off a high-scoring junior year. Also gone is point guard Gritt Ryder, the GNAC Freshman of the Year. Bruna Deichmann, who started in about half of the team's games, also left, as did reserve freshman Katie Richens.
Most of the players who left did so because of Moser's resignation last spring, Cobb said. Since then, the Seawolves have proceeded with their usual recruiting process and the recent coaching change has not created any problems, he said.
"So far, nobody has indicated a desire to not come be a part of our program," Cobb said.
Reach Jeremy Peters at email@example.com or 257-4335.