One of the things that every newspaper does when there is a job opening is speculate on who the next coach is going to be.
That’s much easier to do at the major college level than it at a small Division II school like Quincy University. Knowing Quincy University Athletic Director Marty Bell and what he’s looking for in a hire, I’ve made up a short list of people who could be running the show for the Hawks next fall.
Bell, a Pennsylvania native, loves to go back to his home roots to hire people. His top assistant for men’s basketball, Jon Perry, worked under Bell’s long-time boss, Kurt Kanaskie, at Penn State. He plucked QU’s women’s volleyball coach, Jen Constantino, from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. Bell spent many years in the PSAC while at Lock Haven and Indiana (Pa.).
I have no insider knowledge about which way Bell is going to proceed. These are purely guesses. I will say that I will be shocked if the new coach doesn’t come from somewhere were Bell has been previously — the PSAC, with a heavy lean toward someone from Indiana (Pa.), or Drake, where he was an assistant coach before coming to QU. If he goes outside of that box, I’d be shocked.
The best guesses (with emphasis on guesses)
He was the defensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois University until recently. He had hoped to be considered to replace the retiring Bob Spoo, but was denied that chance by the EIU AD. Going from EIU, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to a Division II school like Quincy would be a step back career-wise for Bellatoni, who played collegiately at Iona. Before going to EIU, he was the defensive coordinator at — wait for it — Drake. He lacks the Division II experience that Bell is seeking, but has the recruiting contacts that Bell seeks and knows the Midwest, another plus. He won’t get paid as much here as he did at EIU, but he also doesn’t have a job now either. He was at EIU for 11 years, so he seems to like stability. This would give him a chance to run a program for the first time.
Until I started formulating this list I had no idea who Luke Getsy was. Heck, he may not even know where Quincy is or that there’s a university here. But this is my Indiana (Pa.) guess. He has some Division II roots. He served as the offensive coordinator at West Virginia Wesleyan, transforming that Division II school’s offensive attack, and has most recently been the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Hawks of IUP. A prolific quarterback at Akron, Getsy’s boss is Curt Cignetti, whose father, Frank, was the head coach at IUP when Bell was an assistant basketball coach there. The Crimson Hawks went 7-3 this season and averaged 27.7 points per game. Gesty is a young guy — he’s only 27 — who’s probably eager to run his own program. He doesn’t have the Midwestern roots that Bell seems to be seeking.
Off the board guesses
3. Jim Unruh
He’s done it all at the high school level, so taking over the Hawks’ program would certainly be a new challenge for him. Of course, he doesn’t have any of the college experience that Bell desires, but his five state titles should make his resume look good. He knows the area, but has never recruited before. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t put some recruiters around him. It would be interesting to see if he could win on the college level. And the chances of Unruh having any interest is probably somewhere between none and next-to none. Then again we’re not talking about Gerry Faust going from Cincinnati Moeller to Notre Dame either.
4. Derek Leonard
He’s the head coach of the back-to-back Class 4A state champs from Rochester, the team that has ended Quincy Notre Dame’s season each of the last three years. One of his former players, Dan Camp, was QU’s top defender this year as a true freshman. All he’d have to do is recruit the Central State Eight’s best players and you’d think QU would be competitive. He’s been able to develop several Division I players, including this year’s quarterback Wes Lunt who is headed for Oklahoma State. Leonard has indicated he’d like to coach at the college level. Again, no prior Division II experience Bell is seeking.
The absurd guess
5. Ron Zook
There’s always a chance that Bell could lure the former University of Ilinois coach to become the new head coach and in turn he hires Turner Gill as offensive coordinator and Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator. None of those guys would have to worry about getting paid since they got plenty of money from their previous employers.