Kennedy to move quickly

By Allen Moff Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Kent State director of athletics Laing Kennedy confirmed on Monday morning that Jim Christian and Jayson Gee are currently among three leading candidates to become the school's next men's basketball coach.

Christian was the top assistant on former Golden Flashes head coach Stan Heath's staff, while Gee is currently the head coach at the University of Charleston, a Division II school in West Virginia.

"Right now I'm in the process of setting up on-campus interviews, but nothing has been officially scheduled as of yet," said Kennedy, from his office on Monday morning. "Jim is a candidate, and he will be interviewed. I've also talked to coach Gee on the phone, but nothing further as of yet."

After accepting the head coaching position at Arkansas on Thursday, Heath immediately told Kennedy that he believed Christian should be his successor.

The 36-year-old Christian began his coaching career as an assistant at Western Kentucky in 1990 after helping Rhode Island advance to the NCAA Tournament's 'Sweet 16' as a player in 1988. He then served as an assistant at St. Francis (Pa.) College (1992-94), Miami of Ohio (1995-96) and Pittsburgh (1996-99) before spending two years with Octagon Sports Marketing and Management in McLean, Va., as a college basketball talent evaluator.

Christian could not be reached on Monday.

Gee was the leading candidate to replace Gary Waters at Kent State last year before Heath was interviewed. He has coached the Golden Eagles for the past six years.

Kennedy refused to divulge the name of the third candidate, but possibilities include current Michigan State assistant Mike Garland and current Notre Dame assistant Anthony Solomon. Kennedy said he still plans to move quickly, possibly by the end of this week.

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