Chicago St. coaching search to end shortly

For a day, Chicago State wasn’t the only school still looking for a men’s basketball coach in June.

Indiana State joined the Cougars in that predicament on Monday when Kevin McKenna resigned as the Sycamores head coach to take an assistant position with Oregon. A day later, though, Indiana State filled the position with Greg Lansing, and again left Chicago State as the lone remaining Division I program with an opening.

Athletic director Sudie Davis doesn’t expect that to last much longer. Davis said Wednesday he and his search committee were narrowing down their final choices and could make a decision as early as Friday.

The position has been open since Davis fired Benjy Taylor on April 19.

“I guess it was a point of not being in a hurry, making sure we get the right candidate to build a strong structure,” Davis said. “We think getting the right coach is the right thing instead of chasing a deadline.”

According to a source, Illinois State assistant coach Paris Parham, UIC assistant coach Tracy Dildy and Chicago State acting head coach Matthew Muhammad, an assistant under Taylor, have been among the candidates.

“We’ve had a wide range of coaches from across the country as well as Chicago apply,” Davis said. “It’s been all-inclusive. We didn’t want to look over anyone. It was a taxing process. I think it was a good one. We shall see.”

This will be Davis’ first men’s basketball hiring since taking over as athletic director in October of 2008. Davis fired Taylor after Taylor had gone 39-53 after three seasons. Under Taylor, the Cougars did have their first winning season in 23 year when Chicago State went 19-13 in 2008-2009.