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March 20, 2007 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-20

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 9

search for
new coach ...

...while men
do the same

Daily Sports Writer
Two weeks after Cheryl Burnett
retired as Michigan's women's bas-
ketball coach, she was still working
with Michigan as of Friday, said
Athletic Director Bill Martin.
Burnett retired in a meeting with
Martin, in what he described as a
"mild" surprise.
"Bottom line is, we had a really
good, wonderful meeting," said
Martin, who declined to give spe-
cific details of what was discussed
in the meeting. "She retired, and she
is helping us, as is her entire staff,
in the transition. It's a healthy situ-
"There's a lot going on so you've
got to take a look at it all."
Martin later clarified Burnett
wouldn't be working directly with
the players in practices, but will be
handling other duties.
He anticipated Burnett would
continue to work with the program
for about another month.
Burnett's retirement came fol-
lowing four dreary seasons with the
Wolverines in which she compiled
a 35-83 (.297) record, including 10-
54 (.156) in Big Ten play. She came
to Michigan after 15 years at South-
west Missouri State (now Missouri
State), where she went 319-136 (.701)
and took the Lady Bears to two
Final Fours.
"I think as competitive as Cheryl
is, I'm sure there was a sense of frus-
tration," Ohio State coach Jim Fos-
ter said.
But was the frustration getting
to Martin? Was he considering
addressing the coaching situation
from his end?
"I don't want to answer that,"
Martin said. "Walk around in my
shoes or her shoes for a moment,"
Martin said. "When you have a
transition like this, you want it tobe
a win-win. OK?"
Martin said he is looking for
someone with head coaching expe-
rience who has strong ties in the

Midwest. Wisconsin-Green Bay's
Kevin Borseth, Eastern Michigan's
Suzy Merchant, Bowling Green's
Curt Miller and former Florida
coach Carolyn Peck all seem to fit
the bill
Borseth, a Michigan native and
former coach at Michigan Tech,
has the 22nd-ranked Phoenix in the
second round of the NCAA Tourna-
ment. But he already made the deci-
sion at least once to stay in Green
Bay. Borseth accepted Colorado's
head coaching job two years ago
before backing out hours before his
press conference. According to a
report in the Colorado Daily News,
Borseth made the last-minute deci-
sion because he wanted to remain
in Green Bay and raise his family
Merchant took the Eagles to the
NCAA Tournament with a Mid-
American Conference Title in 2004,
but hasn't been back to the Tour-
nament since. The next two years
Eastern Michigan bowed in the
first round of the Women's National
Invitational Tournament. She left
Eastern Michigan last December for
maternity leave and didn't return'
for the rest of the season.
Miller's 23rd-ranked Falcons are
also in the second round of NCAA
Tournament after winning their
third straight MAC Title. Miller
recruited three current Bowling
Green players who are from Michi-
gan, including its leadingscorer and
rebounder, Ali Mann.
Peck won a National Champion-
ship, coaching Purdue in 1999, but
was fired from Florida following the
completion of its season this year.
Martin said he would also consid-
er "very special" assistant coaches.
Tennessee's Dean Lockwood may
meet the criteria. Lockwood was
head coach at Saginaw Valley State
and Northwood, and an assistant at
Central Michigan,
Shortly after her retirement, Bur-
nett said thoughthe athletic depart-
ment that she would not do any

Daily Sports Editor
This week The Michigan Daily
will profile 12 possible candidates
(three each day) to replace former
Michigan basketball coach Tommy
Amaker. Athletic Director Bill Mar-
tin intends to name a new head
coachbythe middle of April.
The profiles are listed in no par-
ticular order.
Candidate: John Beilein
Current job: West Virginia head
Coaching experience: 29 years
(all as a head coach)
Pros: In his 29 years of coaching,
25 of them have been winning sea-
sons. During his five years at West
Virginia he's been to the National
Invitation Tournament and NCAA
Tournament each twice and has
taken the Mountaineers to the Elite
Eight and Sweet Sixteen in consecu-
tive seasons (2004-2006).
His Princeton-style offense,
emphasizing back-door cuts and
constant motion, may be perfect for
the Wolverines' current recruiting
Cons: Beilein has a major con-
tractbuyout, so a move may notbe so
easy. According to various reports,
Beilein's $3 million buyout kept
North Carolina State from offer-
ing him a job last season. Michigan
would only have to pay $2.5 million,
but it still may be too much for the
athletic department to pony up.
Plus, Beilein (54) may not be inter-
ested in coaching for much longer.
Back in April 2005, just after
Beilein's contract was extended
to 2012, West Virginia University
President David Hardesty couldn't:
commentwith certainty on Beilein's
coaching future.
"No, he doesn't go that far," said
Hardesty during that April press
conference. "It's hard to tell how
long he will want to coach. He did
say he had lots of things he wanted
to accomplish before he left here."
Candidate: Tony Bennett
Current job: Washington State
head coach
Coaching experience: Seven
years (one as a head coach)
Pros: As an assistant at Wiscon-
sin, Tony Bennett played a key role

in recruiting some of the Badgers'
top talent, including Kirk Penney,
Devin Harris, Alando Tucker and
Brian Butch. Now, after a success-
ful campaign in his first season as
Washington State head coach, Mar-
tin acknowledged Bennett's candi-
dacy and his Midwest connections.
"(Bennett's) name has come up,
particularly since he was in the
Midwest and grew up in the Mid-
west," Martin said. "We need some-
body that's got regional ties to the
Cons: There just hasn't been
enough time to truly evaluate Ben-
nett as a head coach. Even though
hiring a young coach allows aschool
to think more about the long term,
that inexperience could bury the
program before it has a chance to
get off the ground. Bennett took
the reigns of the Washington State
program just this season, follow-
ing his father's retirement. He had
an incredible first year, but Martin
wouldbe taking a bit of a risk on
someone who hasn't established
himself as a top coach, especially
with so many other qualified coach-
es on the market.
Candidate: Ernie Kent
Current job: Oregon head coach
Coaching experience: 25 years
(15 years as a Division I head coach)
Pros: In nine seasons, Ernie Kent
led Oregon to four NCAA Tourna-
ment appearances, including a run
to the Elite Eight in 2002. Despite
the success, he may be willing to go
to Ann Arbor.
"I wantto be at Oregon as long as
they want me there," Kent told The
Oregonian. "But if they don't want
me there anymore, and Michigan
wants to talk, Oregon owes me the
opportunity to listen."
Kent has two highly rated
recruits from Detroit on his team:
Detroit Renaissance alumni Malik
Hairston and Tajuan Porter. Not
only has he proven he can recruit
well, he's proven he can recruit well
in Detroit, a traditional pipeline for
Michigan basketball.
Cons: As long as Oregon shows
any interest in keeping him, Kent
has no reason to go to Michigan.
The Ducks are becoming a national
powerhouse, and Kent may want
to stick around a few more years to
reap the benefits.

FAVIsa rUMAN/aly
Former Michigan women's basketball coach Cheryl Burnett retired t wo weeks ago.

Former Michigan men's basketball coach Tommy Amaker was fired on Saturday.


Kuehn excels in move to A2

Daily Sports Writer
For senior Jenny Kuehn, it
appeared to be the end of the
The images on television were
horrifying, but the reality was
much worse.
Hurricane Katrina had
destroyed not only the school she
attended, but also the town she
had grown to love.
But instead of calling it quits,
Kuehn confronted the challenge,
accepting an opportunity to finish
her collegiate tennis career at the
University of Michigan.
Kuehn's trip from Leipzig, Ger-
many, to Ann Arbor was highlight-
ed by a series of unlikely events.
Born in the former East Germa-
ny, Kuehn was inspired by her dad,
a former professional soccer player
who helped East Germany earn a
silver medal at the 1980 Olympics.
"My dad was a huge factor in my
athletic career,"Kuehn said. "I have
all my athleticism and passion from
him. You really need your parents'
support, even though they can be a
little nuts."
Kuehn is thankful for the sac-
rifices her parents made for the
advancement of her career.
"My parents did not have vaca-
tions for years," Kuehn said.
"Their vacations were supporting
me at my tournaments."
Kuehn picked up tennis as an 8
year old at a tennis club. After first

grasping a racket, Kuehn grew to
love the sport, developing a pas-
sion that allowed her to eventually
star on various club teams and at
tournaments in Germany. Her per-
formance in the German Nationals
caught the attention of the Tulane
head coach David Schumacher,
who offered Kuehn an opportuni-
ty to bring her talent to the United
"I really wanted the opportu-
nity to succeed in both tennis and
academics," Kuehn said. "In Ger-
many you have to choose between
one or the other."
Her academic and athletic
careers at Tulane were astound-
ing; she compiled an impressive
record of 77-26 in singles and 87-21
in doubles play and filled her tro-
phy case with numerous awards,
including the 2005 Conference
USA Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Yet the destruction of Tulane
caused by Hurricane Katrina
clouded Kuehn's future.
"Our courts were completely
flooded," Kuehn said. "It took a
while to get back to normal and
without a team, things couldn't
get back to normal."
But instead of dwelling on
what was lost, Kuehn looked to
take her considerable talents else-
where. After finishing her degree
at Tulane, she wanted to enroll in
a top accounting program, leading
her to Michigan's top-ranked Ross
School of Business. Her love of

Ann Arbor made her commitment
to Michigan an easy choice.
"When I came to my recruiting
trip, I fell in love with Ann Arbor, I
fell in love with the winter, and the
team was great," Kuehn said.
She has made an immediate
impact upon arriving at No. 25
Michigan, recently shown by a
victory over the No. 12 player in
the country, Tennessee's Blake-
ley Griffifth. She also secured the
Wolverines' winning point in their
upset victory over No. 17 Vander-
bilt on Jan. 27.
"We all know that Jenny is
really good," sophomore Chisako
Sugiyama said after the match.
"We knew that she was going to
pull it out and she played really
well and will really help us out this

Kuehn uses her uncanny quick-
ness and agility to fluster oppo-
nents. She has the ability to win
points that most would give up on,
a testament to her resiliency. Kue-
hn's experience and adaptability
make her a challenging opponent.
"(Jenny) is a very talented
player and is able to make adjust-
ments in her game based on what
her opponent is doing," Michigan
coach Amanda Augustus said.
Despite her immediate impact
upon the women's tennis team,
Kuehn is dissatisfied by her per-
"I wish I could have had a cou-
ple more wins," Kuehn said. "I just
hope it gets better throughout the
remainder of the season."


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