Navy assistant basketball coach Pete Herrmann interviewed for the school's vacant head coaching position today and, at the moment, his only competition is Dayton Coach Don Donoher, who will visit here early next week.
Donoher said by telephone from Dayton that he was interested in the job, which became vacant Wednesday when Paul Evans accepted the head coaching job at Pittsburgh.
"I visited with [Navy Athletic Director] Capt. [J.O.] Coppedge. We talked by phone this morning," Donoher said. "Yes, chances are good that I'll be going over there and visit with him."
Donoher, 54, has been the Flyers' coach since 1964 and has compiled a 399-225 record. A Dayton graduate, Donoher's teams have won 20 or more games eight times, and 18 or 19 games in seven seasons. This year's team finished 17-13 and lost to McNeese State in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Flyers went to the NCAA tournament in 1985, losing on their own court to eventual champion Villanova.
"We just think he's a good basketball coach," Coppedge said of Donoher.
Coppedge said he hoped to have a coach named by next week, and the time of Donoher's interview would depend on when the Naval Academy Athletic Association Board of Control and Donoher could meet in Annapolis. The board, which Coppedge heads, would make the decision, pending approval of the superintendent, Rear Adm. Charles R. Larson.
Coppedge said he does not plan on interviewing any other candidates. "My folks [the board] can always tell me they want more," he said. "I've got some other people in mind, but I think we have pretty good quality folks there [in Herrmann and Donoher]."
Herrmann's session with the board was an extension of a regularly scheduled board meeting, Coppedge said.
"It was a comprehensive interview, dealing with all phases," Herrmann said. "I thought it was pretty good, but we'll have to wait and see."
Herrmann, 37, has been at Navy for six seasons, arriving with Evans. A 1970 graduate of Geneseo State in upstate New York, Herrmann coached at Midlakes High School near Rochester for five years before coming to Navy. Evans has recommended him as his successor.
Guard Doug Wojcik, who will be a senior next year, said the team has not really discussed the coaching situation because players have been catching up on schoolwork, but he said they are eager to have a coach named.
"We were going to get together next week for a pickup game and hopefully we'll hear by then," he said. "Everyone's a little suspicious, just waiting, but we'll see what happens. If Coach Herrmann gets it . . . he knows the system, and he knows us, but it's not really our decision."