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Vol. 2, No. 54
March 6, 2001

NEWS - SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

UNI BEGINS SEARCH FOR NEW MEN'S BASKETBALL COACH

University of Northern Iowa Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Rick Hartzell is beginning the search for a new men's basketball coach to replace Sam Weaver, who resigned his position as men's head basketball coach today, effective immediately. Weaver had one year remaining on his original four-year contract.

"After carefully evaluating all aspects of the men's basketball program, Sam and I determined that a change was in the best interest of the program, and for Sam personally," Hartzell said. "These decisions never are easy. I consider Sam to be an excellent person and he has done many positive things for the University of Northern Iowa. The process of hiring a new head coach will begin immediately in accordance with University guidelines."

Hartzell said assistant coach Ron Smith will handle the day-to-day operations of the basketball office until the new coach has been hired, while assistants Tom Bardal and Johnny Brown will have their contracts honored through June 30. Both Smith and Bardal were hired by Weaver upon his UNI appointment, while Brown is in his first year at UNI.

Weaver was named UNI's head coach April 16, 1998. At the time of his appointment, he was the associate head coach at Iowa State in 1997-98 and served as a Cyclones' assistant from 1996-97. He was head coach at Alcorn State from 1993-96, taking over a program that was in the middle of a NCAA investigation. He also served as an assistant at Southern Illinois from 1989-93, at Missouri Southern from 1988-89, at Drake from 1987-88, and at Southeast Missouri State from 1981-87.

Weaver's first team at Northern Iowa in 1998-99 finished 9-18 overall, tied for eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference and lost to Wichita State, 74-72 in overtime, in the first round of the Valley post-season tournament. The Panthers finished 14-15 overall last season, placed seventh in the league, and lost 58-57 to Drake in the first round of the league's post-season tournament. The Panthers just wrapped up this campaign with a 7-24 record, placing 10th in the Valley. UNI defeated seventh-seed Drake 59-53 in the first round of the post-season tournament on Friday, then lost 59-56 to second-seed Bradley on Saturday.

UNI has earned five honors on Valley all-conference teams under Weaveržs reign. Joe Breakenridge was named honorable mention all-conference and to the league's Most Improved Team in 1999, Robbie Sieverding was a second team all-conference choice and Breakenridge again received honorable mention honors last season, while Breakenridge was a first team all-conference selection this year.

The Weaver File
Personal: Born July 28, 1958, in McNeil, Arkansas
Family: Wife: Carolyn
Children: Thurlon Jr., Christy, Marcus
Education: AA Degree in Physical Education from Three Rivers Community College, 1979 Bacheloržs Degree in Education from Henderson State, 1981 Master's Degree in Physical Education from Southeast Missouri State, 1985

Collegiate Coaching Experience:
Head Coach, Northern Iowa, 1998-2001 30-57
Associate Head Coach, Iowa State, 1997-98
Assistant Coach, Iowa State, 1996-97
Head Coach, Alcorn State, 1993-96 20-58
Assistant Coach, Southern Illinois 1989-93
Assistant Coach, Missouri Southern, 1988-89
Assistant Coach, Drake University, 1987-88
Assistant Coach, Southeast Missouri State, 1981-87
Overall Record 50-115


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