By MATT SCHUCKMAN
Herald-Whig Sports Editor
The 13-member search committee tasked with finding the next Quincy High School boys basketball coach has narrowed its pool of candidates to five.
Wednesday night, QHS athletic director Bill Sanders informed the Quincy School Board of the committee's progress and said interviews with the final five are being conducted this week.
Two interviews took place Wednesday. Three more are scheduled for Thursday.
QHS is not releasing the names of the candidates.
"We've kept those names confidential really out of respect for those candidates," Sanders said. "There are rumors all around town about who is there, who's not. That's fine. But I don't think it's fair to come out and say it's John Doe or whoever because I don't think that's fair to their kids that they're currently coaching that may not know that."
On March 26, the board voted 6-0 with one member abstaining to end Sean Taylor's coaching contract following 11 seasons. Taylor is a tenured social studies teacher at the high school and was only terminated as basketball coach.
Taylor compiled a 194-107 record at QHS, winning four Western Big Six Conference titles and five regional championships. His teams won 20 or more games four times.
However, QHS did not win a sectional title during his tenure and last won a regional title in 2009. The five-year regional title drought is the longest in program history.
Quincy received 20 applications for the coaching position, and the search committee met last week to review the resumes. It narrowed the field to five and invited those coaches to interview.
After initial interviews are completed, the committee plans to ask "a smaller number" of candidates to return for a second interview next week, according to Sanders.
The committee hopes to have a name to present to Superintendent Steve Cobb by May 1 or 2.
"A ballpark on that date," Sanders said.
Following Sanders' comments, board member Scott Stone said the board is "looking for the most excellent candidate." He made reference to the superintendent search that landed Cobb, noting who the board rejected all superintendent candidates after the first round of interviews. It went back to the pool of candidates and found Cobb.
"We want the best here," Stone said.
Cobb said the board could act on hiring a coach at a special meeting the board is planning to hold in early May, but there are no guarantees action will be taken.
Cobb reiterated they do not have to hire a candidate the first go-around and will not stick to a timetable.
"We're not rushing this by any means. The fact is, we want the right person," Cobb said.