Extra year gives Siverling better shot at Blugolds jobCurrent UWS basketball coach interviewed for new position on Wednesday
By: By Justin Harings, The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Superior Telegram
Matt Siverling learned at the highest level before this. What he learned on his own might have made the biggest difference.
Siverling, the coach at UW-Superior since 2010, turned a second season on the bench into a second — and better — chance at coaching the men’s basketball program at UW-Eau Claire, his old team and alma mater.
“In Division III basketball, it’s a tremendous opportunity,” Siverling said this week. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Siverling, a Ladysmith native and former Blugolds assistant, is the third of four finalists to interview for the job that opened when Kyle Green suddenly resigned last month after one season.
He interviewed Wednesday. Edgewood College coach Todd Adrian interviewed Monday, Ashford University coach Oliver Drake interviewed Tuesday and Milwaukee School of Engineering coach Brian Miller interviews today.
“Eau Claire is just a great city,” Siverling said. “It’s a place where I feel like we can raise a family and have a lot of success.”
Siverling, the only one of the four finalists with Division I experience, applied for the Blugolds job a year ago but didn’t make the final six.
After coaching UW-Superior to the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament for the second time in as many seasons, he applied again.
He made this cut.
“I think the fact that I have another year of head coaching experience really helped,” Siverling said.
“The fact that we were successful in the WIAC this year, I think that was another benefit for me. And I got a chance to learn a little bit more as a head coach and do some things differently.”
His record at UWS — his first head coaching stop — stands at 29-24 with a 14-18 mark in the WIAC. Last season, the Yellowjackets went 8-8 in conference play — their best mark since 2000-01.
The program hasn’t finished with a winning record in WIAC play since going 11-5 in 1978-79.
“It has been a difficult place to win, but that is changing,” Siverling said. “If I do have the opportunity to coach at Eau Claire, it will be a difficult place to leave.”
Siverling, a Blugolds assistant under longtime coach Terry Gibbons from 2004-07, started his career as a volunteer assistant at Eau Claire North in 1999. He coached the program’s freshman team from 2000-02 before graduating from UW-Eau Claire.
While attending graduate school at the University of Florida from 2002-04, Siverling worked under Billy Donovan — a back-to-back national champion in 2006 and ‘07 — as a graduate assistant. He soaked up everything he could about the game.
Then, after his stop on the Blugolds staff, he was a program specialist at the University of Arkansas from 2007-10. He started smoothing out his own views about the game while watching it in the Southeastern Conference.
“Just being professional,” Siverling said. “Those guys are under a microscope every single day. They have very little room for error.”
His wife, Lori, also is a UW-Eau Claire graduate.
They’re looking for a long-term location to raise their two daughters, 5-year-old Addison and 4-year-old Brayln.
As much as anywhere, Eau Claire is like home.
“We’re really looking for a place to settle down and raise a family,” Siverling said. “We feel that Eau Claire is definitely a place that we can do that.”
— Copyright (c) 2012 the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram/Distributed by MCT