Friday, April 10, 2015

Beeman is staying

University of Hawaii women's basketball fans can relax. Laura Beeman isn't going anywhere, at least for now.

Beeman, the Big West Coach of the Year who led the Wahine to the conference regular season championship this spring, called the University of Utah on Thursday and asked to be taken off the list of contenders for the Lady Utes head coach position.

"I'm staying," Beeman said Thursday morning. "I love Hawaii. This is where I want to be. … I like what (new athletic director) David Matlin is doing."

The web site SwishAppeal.com reported on April 4 that Beeman was a finalist for the Utah job along with Fresno State head coach Jaime White and Pacific head coach Lynne Roberts.

She interviewed with Utah associate athletic director Nola Richardson while at the women's final four.
Matlin, who will take office as UH athletic director April 27, met recently with Beeman to "re-recruit" her.

"We just talked about what we value and goals and at the end of the day it's obvious we can't compete on the finances (with a Pac-12 school)," Matlin said. "She loves Hawaii. We talked about building something together. She's a valued member of our team. I think she loves her team too and she loves being here and puts a premium on that. I think we're all blessed and fortunate that she's part of our ‘ohana.

"Plus, I said, ‘Listen, you know, I don't know if I can handle another coach search right now," Matlin added, with a chuckle.

Anthony Levrets, who was fired by Utah after five seasons, had an annual salary of $313,183.  Beeman received a contract extension in December at UH that takes her through 2017 at roughly $160,000 a season.

The salary range for the UH women's basketball head coaching position is $118,488-$209,784. When asked if he discussed any future pay increase with Beeman, Matlin declined comment.

"I'm not a money-driven person," Beeman said. "I never have been. It's about relationships, it's about my team."

UH finished with a 23-9 overall record in 2015, including a 15-game winning streak.

The Wahine played in the WNIT all three of her UH seasons. Her overall record at UH is 57-37 in three seasons.

She was previously an assistant at USC and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. Beeman was also head coach for 15 seasons at Mt. San Antonio College.

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