Zeigler the Choice for CMU

The Central Michigan University men's basketball program is ready to begin a new chapter in its history. The Chippewas have made their choice for a new head coach and are set to announce that decision at a 2 p.m. press conferece tomorrow on campus.

Chippewas Insider has learned from a source close to the situation that UCLA assistant coach Ernie Zeigler is to be named the next men's basketball head coach for Central Michigan University tomorrow at a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Indoor Athletic Complex.

A Detroit native, Zeigler, 40, just completed his third year on the staff of head coach Ben Howland at UCLA. Zeigler helped lead the Bruins to the NCAA National Champiponship game this past season.

Also noted for being a great recruiter, his efforts helped UCLA in 2004 land the nation's No. 4 incoming freshman class according to one scouting service.

Prior to coming to UCLA, Zeigler spent two years at the University of Pittsburgh as a member of Howland's staff. The Panthers compiled a record of 57-11 during those two seasons. In 2003, the Panthers were 28-5, earned a No. 4 ranking on the final Associated Press poll and played in the NCAA "Sweet 16" for the second consecutive season. In 2002, Pittsburgh won a school-record 29 games and again reached the NCAA "Sweet 16".

Zeigler also has a year of coaching experience in the Mid-American Conference having spent the 2000-01 season at Bowling Green State University.

Following an extensive nationwide search that began following the resignation of fomer CMU head coach Jay Smith last month, Zeigler was selected over two other finalists, Michigan State assistant Mark Montgomery and Mott Community College head coach Steve Schmidt.

Born January 31, 1966, in Detroit, Zeigler began his coaching career under the tutelage of his former prep coach Robert Menefee at his alma mater, Detroit Cody High School.

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