Interim AD Jerry Bovee Leans On Utah State Brand In Basketball Coaching Search

Apr 5, 2023, 11:55 AM

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SALT LAKE CITY – With interim athletic director Jerry Bovee leading the search and President Noelle Cockett stepping down in June, Utah State is in a unique position as they scour the country for the right voice to succeed Ryan Odom.

Interim AD Bovee joined KSL Sports Zone‘s Hans & Scotty to discuss the men’s basketball coaching search after Odom’s departure to VCU.

RELATED: Utah State Guards Sean Bairstow, Max Shulga Enter Transfer Portal

“I’ve been on the phone constantly for the last two days,” Bovee said of the candidates reaching out. “You’d be amazed at the interest in this program.”

“When you walk into a game at Utah State and you see the student support from the Hurd and the local support, there’s a passion here. The experience here is special so I feel a huge amount of pressure to get it right. We have to be choosy about who we’re looking for and not get caught up in the name game.”

RELATED: Report: Ryan Odom Expected To Leave Utah State For VCU

Unknowns Complicate Hiring Process

With Bovee operating under an interim tag and Cockett due to step down in June, potential candidates must consider not only where they will be working, but with whom.

“To say that it doesn’t have an effect would be just putting your head in the sand. But it’s more on paper than in reality.”

“Half of them ask, ‘What’s the plan with your position? And who can my client count on if they’re your candidate?’… and so we get through that.”

RELATED: Nate Dixon Will Temporarily Fill Utah State Head Coach Vacancy In Interim Role

“I think right now it’s about the brand and that brand is Utah State and what this basketball program has done over the years. Regardless of who’s in that chair, it’s been pretty successful.”

Asked if he has the University administration during the search, Bovee was clear.

“Absolutely. Even in the last days of working on a contract with coach Odom, we had a contract in front of him that would have put him at a level that no men’s basketball coach in Utah State history has been at. We’re working hard to be competitive in the Mountain West Conference and nationally.”

After naming Nate Dixon as the interim head coach, Bovee hopes to complete the hiring process quickly while ensuring they identify the right candidate.

“You only get one bite at the apple, so you want to make sure it’s right. Nate’s gonna stick around, he’s interested in the job. Ultimately, we’re gonna hire the best person and we’re going to take our time, quickly.”

“At the end of it all, names don’t matter as much as do they fit here? Can they thrive here? If they’re not successful, it’s because of them. Not because of this place.”

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Interim AD Jerry Bovee Leans On Utah State Brand In Basketball Coaching Search