Search for Phoenix men’s basketball coach about to heat up

WATCH: Phoenix have high hopes for future of men's basketball program
Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 9:07 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The business of college athletics has certainly changed in recent years.

“We’ve got to be aggressive in the Name Image Likeness space, and then in the portal is something that is very aggressive. We’ve got to know how to win in those areas,” said Green Bay Athletic Director Josh Moon.

Winning at the end of the day is still important, and ultimately the Phoenix men’s basketball program hasn’t done enough of that. That’s with the Phoenix posting a 15-61 record after Will Ryan took over in 2020.

Prompting Moon to make a change in leadership, and part ways with Ryan after two and a half seasons.

“This program is something we should be proud of, " said Moon. “And this should be a driving force for this university and region.”

“We’re the first ones out of the gates in division one. So we have some time. Part of the reason why we went right now in the season. We’re getting calls from all over the place. So, there’s a lot of interest, a tremendous amount of interest, and obviously we’ve got to put together a package that’s going to be very competitive. To pay the coach and the coaching staff what the going rate for a good mid-major program,” said Moon.

The next head coach could come from pretty much anywhere. According to Moon, the way to fix the program will come locally. Starting with local talent on the floor, and the community that supports it.

As a team the Phoenix ranked 361st out of 363 division one programs in NET rating this season.

But Green Bay Green Bay Athletics Director Josh Moon is intent on moving the Phoenix in the right direction. Immediately.

“We’re not going to be a bottom tier program any longer,” Moon said. “We are going to turn this thing around and do it the right way.”

And the athletics landscape isn’t that crowded in this state, trying to gain ground and improve.

“There are only 4 Division 1 teams in the state, and we are the only one north of Madison,” Moon said. “Getting the entirety of northeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley to rally around this team and this program should be an easy thing to sell. But we have to engage with people on their turf.”

Throughout this big change, Moon insists one thing will never change: Green Bay’s commitment to running Division 1 athletics. But to thrive in doing so, they will need a different change, a monetary one, to get the right man in the door to be the next men’s basketball coach.

“Our model needs to change to pay a coach and his coaching staff what the going rate for a good mid-major program,” Moon said. “We have to come in and have that model built. The university is supportive. They are doing things that have never been done here before. We are very confident with our university leadership. Our chancellor believes in it, on down through our university leadership. But we can’t do it alone here. So that’s where having our business community, and our alumni and fans and friends (matters). Come along side us.”