Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Former Pepperdine head coach Tom Asbury will get a shot at the same job again, starting next season, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com.
The school will hold a Wednesday news conference to announce the hiring.
Asbury, 62, will take over a program in flux. Former coach Vance Walberg resigned Jan. 17 for personal reasons. Walberg was 6-12 when he resigned, 0-2 in the WCC. Assistant Eric Bridgland stepped in and, according to the source, will continue to coach the team the rest of this season. Pepperdine lost to Saint Mary's Monday night, falling to 3-8 in the WCC, 9-18 overall.
Asbury coached the Waves from 1988-94 after serving as an assistant for nine years. He went on to coach Kansas State for six years before going to Alabama as an assistant in 2003. He resigned after last season to retire to Tucson to tend to his wife, who was ill at the time but has since recovered.
The source said that Asbury will take a recruiting test as soon as he is hired so he is cleared to recruit under NCAA rules. Since Walberg resigned, a position has remained open on the staff. Assuming Asbury passes the test, he can go out on the road this season and recruit for next year. He is expected to observe practices and games, as well as interview the current staff.
The source said Asbury was chosen by Pepperdine athletic director John Watson because of the stability he would bring to the program after the brief tenure under Walberg, who was hired in 2006.
Watson looked mostly at older, former Division I head coaches with ties to the West Coast to replace Walberg.
Filling the Pepperdine opening leaves a handful of coaching vacancies: San Francisco (Jessie Evans took a leave of absence, and Eddie Sutton is interim coach), Oregon State (Jay John was fired and assistant Kevin Mouton is interim), South Carolina (Dave Odom will resign at the end of the season) and LSU (John Brady was fired, and assistant Butch Pierre is interim).
Labels: coaching changes
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