Three finalists named for SMSU head women’s basketball coach position

Southwest Minnesota State University director of athletics Chris Hmielewski announced on Thursday that three candidates have been invited to the Marshall campus as finalists in its search for a new head women’s basketball coach.

The finalists include Rae Boothe, head coach at Friends University (Kan.), Daryle Tucker, head coach at Northland College (Wis.) and Tom Webb, head coach at Cameron University (Okla.).

The vacancy comes after Allison Kruger announced her resignation on March 29 after six seasons as head coach.

Each of the candidates will be on campus next week for interviews with the search committee, members of the team and university administration.

All three candidates will also have an open session with the community and members of the media from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. each day on the second level of the Schwan Regional Event Center. Parking will be available on Mustang Trail and the R/A Facility parking lot.

Boothe will interview on Wednesday, May 4, Tucker will be on campus Thursday, May 5, while Webb will be on campus on Friday, May 6.

Rae Boothe recently completed her sixth season as head coach at NAIA Division II Friends University in Wichita, Kan. She has compiled a career record of 131-61, including 82-28 in conference play with two regular season conference championships.

Boothe has led the Falcons to the NAIA National Tournament in four of the last five seasons, including a trip to the Sweet 16 and a No. 9 national ranking in 2015. This past season the Falcons finished 22-11 and advanced to the NAIA tournament.

In her six seasons, Boothe has coached six All-Americans, eight NAIA Scholar-Athletes, 18 all-conference players, one Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, five KCAC Defensive Players of the Year and two KCAC Newcomers of the Year. She was named the KCAC Coach of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.

Prior to her tenure at Friends, Boothe was an assistant coach at Brenau University (Ga.) for four seasons (2006-10) and Warner University (Fla.) for two seasons (2004-06).

Boothe earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Brenau University.

Tom Webb has spent the past eight seasons (2008-16) as the head coach at NCAA Division II Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., recording a career mark of 91-123. He took over a program that had won just eight combined games, including three in conference play, the two seasons prior to taking over.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Webb led Cameron to one of its best seasons in school history, earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Aggies finished with an overall record of 15-12, including a 12-4 record in the Lone Star Conference—the most LSC victories in team history. For his efforts, Webb was named the LSC Coach of the Year.

During his tenure at Cameron, Webb has coached four LSC newcomers of the year, one LSC defensive player of the year, one LSC player of the year and one Academic All-American.

Prior to Cameron, Webb spent four seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Eastern Washington University (2004-08). He served as recruiting coordinator and oversaw the post players, with four earning all-conference honors; while one went on to play professional basketball in Europe. He was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2007-08 season.

Webb earned his first head coaching position at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., in 2000. He spent four seasons (2000-04) as head coach, leading the Trappers to a 94-32 overall record and a pair of conference titles. The team set a school record with 26 victories in back-to-back seasons, while his career .750 winning percentage is the highest in school history. He twice was named Wyoming Community College Athletic Conference (WCCAC) Coach of the Year.

The Trappers had success in the classroom as well, earning the 2003 National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) academic championship with a team GPA of 3.56.

Webb began his coaching career as a student assistant coach at Southwest Minnesota State, before serving as a graduate assistant for the Northern State University men’s basketball program in 1999-2000.

Webb is a graduate of Southwest Minnesota State and earned his master’s degree from Northern State.

Daryle Tucker recently completed his second season at NCAA Division III Northland College in Ashland, Wis.

This past season, Northland finished 11-12 overall and recorded a 6-10 mark in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference. It was the highest overall and conference win total for the program in five seasons and the first time the program reached double digit victories in seven years.

Tucker came to Northland after spending three seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Green Mountain College (Vt.). Prior to GMC, he was the head women’s coach for one season at Southeastern University (Fla.), where he led the team to a second place finish in the South Region Conference and its best record in eight seasons.

Tucker was also an assistant men’s basketball coach at the University of North Dakota (2007-09), Southeastern Louisiana University (2006-07) and Abraham Baldwin Agriculture College (2004-05). During the 2005-06 season he was a women’s assistant coach at Georgia Southwestern.

Tucker is a graduate of Atlanta Christian College and earned his master’s degree from the University of North Dakota.

Southwest Minnesota State University is located in Marshall and is a member of NCAA Division II.

Photo Courtesy SMSU Athletics

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