Wichita native and Arizona assistant Chance Lindley has been named the women’s basketball coach at Nebraska-Omaha. A month ago, kind of a big deal. Now? A huge deal, because the Mavericks are now a Division I basketball program. They announced the hiring on Saturday – just last month UNO dropped a bombshell on the MIAA by jetting to the D1 Summit League and dropping football and wrestling.
I talked to Lindley on Saturday afternoon, and he was … psyched. Can’t blame him. He’s 35 and he’s reached a major career goal.
“I’m a midwest guy so getting to come back home is a huge thrill,” Lindley said. “Honestly, this did happen for me a little sooner than I thought it would … I’m fortunate to have moved up so quickly.”
“We had strong interest in this position from coaches around the nation, and there were many strong candidates,” said UNO AD Trev Alberts in a statement. “In the end, we were impressed by Chance’s energy and passion as well as his proven track record as a head coach. We think he will be a significant asset in our transition to Division I.”
Lindley won a Region VI title at Barton CC in 2008 and came there after winning a Class 3A state title at Collegiate in 2006. He told me he’s going to aggressively pursue Jayhawk Conference and Wichita-area recruits. With that kind of background here and a Division I program to sell … he could make life hard on the three in-state schools pretty quickly.
Saturday, his phone was ringing off the hook with calls from well-wishers.
“It’s an exciting time,” Lindley said. “And it’s cool for me that people back home, where I grew up, get to hear about this and know what I’m doing. That’s huge for me.”
Make sure to read the full story in Sunday’s Eagle.
I’m out. TA