UW-Superior names four finalists for men’s basketball head coaching positionThe University of Wisconsin-Superior narrowed its search for a new men’s basketball head coach to four finalists. The four finalists are Josh Drinkall, current head assistant coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.; Paul Eberhardt, head coach at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, Ariz. from 2002-2010; Jeff Nicholas, the top men’s basketball assistant at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 2006; and Greg Polkowski, who played for the Yellowjackets from 2003-08 and has recently been coaching in the Milwaukee area.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior narrowed its search for a new men’s basketball head coach to four finalists. The coaching vacancy was created when former head coach, Matt Siverling, resigned to accept the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, his alma mater.
“The timing was certainly difficult on our end, being in the midst of recruiting and preparations for the upcoming season, but it was an opportunity that Matt felt was best for his family and his career. In other words, it was too good to pass up,” said Steve Nelson, UWS athletics director. “We wish Matt and his growing family nothing but the best in the future.
“That being said, we have to concentrate and hiring the best possible candidate to take Yellowjacket basketball into the future. We were thrilled with the pool of candidates that we had to choose from and could have gone a number of different ways with bringing people on campus for interviews.”
The four finalists are Josh Drinkall, current head assistant coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.; Paul Eberhardt, head coach at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, Ariz. from 2002-2010; Jeff Nicholas, the top men’s basketball assistant at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 2006; and Greg Polkowski, who played for the Yellowjackets from 2003-08 and has recently been coaching in the Milwaukee area.
The four finalists were to be on campus for interviews Thursday and today. UWS hopes to fill the vacancy and have the new head coach in place by early July.
“We are very eager to have these four men on campus this week to learn more about them, more about their philosophies and hopefully find a great fit for our basketball program,” Nelson said. “Our program has made some great strides in the past six seasons and we look forward to our next coach, whoever that might be, raising the bar even further and bringing us an even higher level of success.”
Following is a brief biography for each finalist, listed in alphabetical order.
Drinkall is currently the head assistant coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Drinkall has been with the Golden Gusties since 2007. In that time Gustavus has had a pair of runner-up finishes in the conference (2008, 2010) and was the conference co-champion last season. The Gusties have compiled a record of 83-54 in five seasons with Drinkall on staff.
Prior to his time at Gustavus, Drinkall spent six seasons as an assistant at Winona State University. He helped guide WSU to three national tournament appearances, including a national championship in 2006 and was part of a program that at one time won 57 straight contests. Drinkall also spent several seasons coaching at the high school level. As a collegiate athlete, Drinkall played football at Winona State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2003. He followed that up with a master’s degree in educational leadership, also from Winona State, in 2007.
Eberhardt has enjoyed a long career coaching college basketball, with his most recent assignment being as the head coach at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale, Ariz. from 2002-2010. Prior to becoming the head coach, Eberhardt was an assistant coach for the Fighting Artichokes from 2000-2002. In between he had a brief stint as an assistant coach at Colorado State University-Pueblo.
A native of Wisconsin, Eberhardt cut his teeth at the NCAA level with a two-year stretch as an assistant coach at WIAC-rival UW-River Falls. Eberhardt’s first college coaching position came as a student assistant coach at Winona State University during the 1994-95 season. Most recently Eberhardt has served as the athletics director and dean of students at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa.
Eberhardt earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Winona State University in 1997. He received his secondary education certification from UW-River Falls in 2000 and completed his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in sports leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006.
Nicholas has been the top men’s basketball assistant at the University of Minnesota Duluth since 2006, coaching with longtime head coach Gary Holquist. The Bulldogs posted a 76-92 record during his tenure. In that time Nicholas helped develop eight all-conference (NCC and NSIC) and three all-region players for the Bulldogs, in addition to having a handful receive conference all-academic honors.
Before coming to UMD, the Eau Claire, Wis. native spent three years at Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wis. There, Nicholas was the assistant men’s basketball coach in 2003-04 and the associate head men’s basketball coach the next two seasons. Nicholas was also the head men’s golf coach during those three years. Nicholas gained high school coaching experience with stops at Elkhorn (Wis.) High School, where he was an assistant coach from 1997 through 2001, and Waterford Union (Wis.) High School where he was the head coach from 2001 through 2003.
Nicholas earned his bachelor’s degree in applied science from UMD in 1997. He received his master’s degree in education from Lakeland College in 2006.
Polkowski is perhaps the most familiar name to Yellowjacket followers among the four finalists, having played for the Yellowjackets from 2003-08. As a senior Polkowski was a team captain, was named to the WIAC Sportsmanship Team and claimed the 2008 UW-Superior Mertz Mortorelli Award. Following his playing career, Polkowski joined head coach Dave Buchanan’s staff, helping the Yellowjackets to an 11-14 record. Following the season, Buchanan departed UW-Superior for Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and Polkowski joined him to serve as his assistant coach. In two seasons (2009-11) the Pioneers compiled a 28-20 record.
Most recently Polkowski has been a physical education instructor at Milwaukee Scholars Charter School and worked on the Brookfield Central High School coaching staff and has served as the coach of several youth teams in and around the Milwaukee area. Polkowski graduated with a bachelor’s degree physical education from UW-Superior in 2008 and with a master’s degree in education from Carroll in 2011.