Tech announces finalist for hoops job

Montana Tech enters the final stage for the next head women’s basketball coach in the next week. The final three candidates are coming to the Mining City to meet with the search committee, university administration and the public. Each candidate will address the media and public in an open forum during their visits and anyone is invited. The first candidate arrives in Butte tomorrow with the others following on Thursday and Monday.

Wendy Anae is the first prospective head coach coming to campus. Currently the director of basketball operation for BYU women’s basketball, Anae has extensive basketball experience from administration to teaching and coaching. Anae coached high school in Utah and Hawaii before becoming the head coach at BYU-Hawaii. Also familiar with the international game, she coached the Samoa National Team. The open forum for Anae is 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Bob and Pauline Poore Conference Room in the Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Building.

On Thursday, DeAnn Craft is scheduled for a campus visit. Craft has experience as a coach and player at the NCAA Division I and II levels. Most recently, Craft coached at NCAA Division II Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. Prior to Saint Anselm, Craft was the head coach at University of Texan Pan American and Lamar University, both NCAA Division I schools. She also has head coaching experience at the junior college level heading Cowley County Community College. Craft played college basketball for the University of Central Florida. The open forum for Craft is 2:30-3:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Copper Lounge in the Student Union Building.

The final candidate, Kellie Johnson, arrives in Butte on Monday. Johnson, a 1997 graduate from Butte Central, is the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School which competes at the NCAA Junior College Division I level. This is not Johnson’s first time on Montana Tech’s campus. She was the women’s assistant basketball coach from 2003-2005. Prior to her stint at Tech, she was a teacher and head basketball and bolleyball coach for Butte Central. The all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Butte Central played college basketball for Illinois State University. Johnson’s public forum is in the Copper Lounge from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday in the Student Union Building.

The head women’s basketball coach position became available after Kerie DePell resigned in early July. The six-year head coach finished with an 83-88 overall record and took the Lady Diggers to the NAIA National Tournament twice, including the first time in history. DePell chose to leave Tech to attend to her family.

— Montana Tech Sports Information

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