Moser Interviews For UWGB Job

The Green Bay (Wisc.) Press Gazette has reported that Saint Louis University basketball associate head coach Porter Moser is a candidate for the vacant head coaching position at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Moser confirmed to on Wednesday morning that he interviewed with Green Bay during the Final Four weekend in Indianapolis. The 41-year-old assistant coach is said to be interested in becoming a head coach again.

UWGB athletics director Ken Bothof, a former assistant athletics director at Saint Louis University for six years, conducted interviews with coaching candidates in Indianapolis and is continuing the process by bringing candidates to campus this week.

The Green Bay job opened up after Tod Kowalczyk resigned after eight seasons to become the coach at Toledo. Angres Thorpe, who spent six years as an assistant coach at SLU before moving on to UWGB for two seasons, is leaving UWGB to follow Kowalczyk to Toledo, according to the Press Gazette.

The Billikens defeated Green Bay 68-62 in two overtimes in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational on March 22. The Phoenix finished the season with a 22-13 record.

A Naperville, Ill., native, Moser was a two-year starter at Creighton and graduated in 1990. He has been a head coach at two different Division I schools and compiled a 105-101 record in seven years.

He went 54-34 in three seasons at Arkansas-Little Rock and 51-67 in four years at Illinois State before he was fired in 2007. Moser was hired quickly after Rick Majerus became SLU's coach in 2007 and has been a key component in the Billikens' success in the three seasons since.

Moser was elevated to the position of associate head coach prior to the 2008-09 season.

"Porter is a former head coach at two programs and is a rising start on the college scene," Majerus is quoted as saying in the team's media guide. "He is highly regarded by everyone in the game because of his ability to teach the game and his relentless recruiting. As a result, I gave Porter more responsibility than is customary for an assistant coach."

If Moser is offered the Green Bay position, he'll have a difficult decision to make.

He would appear to be in line to become the next head coach of the Billikens once the 62-year-old Majerus — who just completed the third season of a five-year contract at SLU — retires from coaching in a few years.

But there is no guarantee that Moser would be hired to succeed Majerus at SLU. If the assistant coach were to turn down the UWGB job, if it were offered to him, there is no guarantee that he would get another chance to be a head coach.

Moser would seem like a logical candidate to replace Majerus. He has been the primary recruiter for much of the current roster, including sophomore point guard Kwamain Mitchell, as well as incoming recruits like Mike McCall and Dwayne Evans out of Illinois.

One recent trend in college athletics is for programs with assistant coaches in demand to secure those coaches for the future with stipulations in their contracts that state they will become the next head coach.

That was the case in college football with Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, who in December of 2007 was named the coach-in-waiting of the Seminoles whenever Bobby Bowden retired and is now the team's head coach. A plan is in place at Texas where assistant coach Will Muschamp will take over the Longhorns once Mack Brown retires.

Syracuse assistant basketball coach Mike Hopkins, the coach in waiting for whenever Jim Boeheim retires, recently pulled his name out of consideration for the Charlotte job.

The coach-in-waiting strategy helps schools recruit prospects for the future who may have concerns about how long a head coach will stick around. In the case of Saint Louis U., it may be even harder to recruit underclassmen in high school with no succession plan in place for after Majerus steps away, which would mean that whatever success that the Billikens built with the veteran coach in charge would be difficult to keep going once the next coach comes in.

What is shaping up to be an interesting offseason for SLU — which started with the commitment of New Zealand post player Rob Loe and the subsequent transfer of freshman guard Jeff Reid — will now be even more critical for the future of the Billikens program.

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