DULUTH - Bemidji State head men's basketball coach Matt Bowen has been named a finalist for the position of head men's basketball coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
Bowen and Jeff Rutter, the other finalist who is currently Iowa State University's director of basketball operations, will be on campus this week to interview with school administrators, according to a UMD news release.
"The position at Duluth has been open for about a month and it was just an opportunity I had to check out," Bowen said. "We've had some success at Bemidji and with success comes opportunity. I like it at Bemidji but when you are young and opportunities present themselves, you have to pursue them."
Bowen recently completed his seventh year at Bemidji State and directed the Beavers to the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season championship and their second-ever NCAA Division II tournament berth while setting a school single-season record for wins (22). For his efforts, Bowen was named the NSIC Coach of the Year.
Bowen owns a career mark of 64-102 (.386) at BSU. He steered the Beavers to a 22-9 mark this season after going 11-15 the previous year.
The position at UMD is attractive to Bowen because the school and the community are larger and the school offers resources that are not available at BSU.
"I won't say I'm unexcited (about the UMD position) but there certainly are mixed emotions," Bowen said. "I have nothing but great things to say about Bemidji and what lies ahead with our program. But I'm also excited about any future opportunities."
Prior to arriving in Bemidji, Bowen served a four-year stint as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Valparaiso University (2002-06). He also spent seven seasons (1995-2002) in the same capacity at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Rutter has been a member of the Iowa State basketball staff for seven years, the last two as Cyclone's director of operations.