BEMIDJI - The interview process is complete and Bemidji State University athletic officials are about ready to take the next step in terms of finding a new men's basketball coach.
Last week BSU athletic director Rick Goeb and the search committee members interviewed the top four candidates to replace Matt Bowen who resigned after accepting the head coaching position at University of Minnesota-Duluth.
"We have turned in the paperwork to the human resources department and we are waiting to hear back," Goeb said.
The candidates included Al Biancalana, an associate head coach at University of Illinois-Chicago, Mike Boschee, who just completed his ninth season as head men's coach at Central College in Pella, Iowa, Austin Hansen, who is an assistant coach at South Dakota State, and Jeff Hironaka, an assistant coach at Washington State.
On Sunday, however, Hansen notified BSU officials that he withdrew as a candidate, according to a story in the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls. Hanson said Bemidji "wasn't the right place for him," according to the report.
Despite Hanson's decision, Goeb and the committee members were impressed with the candidates.
"They all had a variety of backgrounds but we were very impressed with the pool of candidates," Goeb said. "Matt (Bowen) did a great job of making the (BSU men's basketball) position more attractive and the name Bemidji State University is well known in the (collegiate) basketball circles)."
Biancalana's duties at the Univerisity of Illinois-Chicago included coaching, individual development, recruiting and community service.
Boschee's resume at Central College includes a 53-26 record over the past three seasons, an Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and a trip to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
During Hironaka's tenure at Washington State the team has had three All-PAC 12 players and a conference freshman of the year.
"All of the candidates are tremendous and we hope to have one on board sooner rather than later," Goeb said.
Williamson joins Bowen
Kevin Williamson spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach under Bowen at Bemidji State and now will work in that same capacity with his old boss at UMD.
"By being with me the past two years, Kevin has a firm grasp of what I want to do here and how I want to do it," Bowen said.
"He certainly was integral in the success we had at Bemidji. He opened up some new recruiting avenues nationally for us, particularly on the West Coast."
"As a coach, he relates extremely well with the players, having played himself not so long ago at the collegiate level."
The 27-year old Williamson served as an assistant coach in 2009-10 at Glendale Community College (Phoenix, Ariz.) prior to his arrival in Bemidji.