Wayne State College Director of Athletics Mike Powicki has announced four finalists for the position of head men’s basketball coach at the school. They include Zac Claus, assistant coach at the University of Idaho; Jeff Horner, assistant coach at the University of North Dakota; Dylan Howard, associate head coach at Morehead State University and Jeff Kaminsky, head coach at Valley City State University in North Dakota.
Zac Claus just completed his first season at Idaho where the Vandals won 21 games, the most wins at the school since 1992-93 and the ninth best record in team history. Claus helped Idaho reach the Big Sky Tournament semifinals while earning a bid to the College Basketball Invitational. Prior to arriving at Idaho, Claus served 10 seasons at the University of Nevada (last four as assistant, six years as director of operations). Claus played at Nebraska and Creighton before finishing his collegiate career at Eastern Washington and began his coaching career as assistant varsity and head junior varsity coach at Nebraska Wesleyan in 1998-99 and also served as an assistant at Sacramento State and Portland State.
Jeff Horner completed his second season at the University of North Dakota, helping UND to a 17-16 record this season and a 10-8 record in the Big Sky Conference. UND reached the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons, falling to Cal-Irvine in overtime 89-86. Horner is an assistant coach at UND after serving as director of operations his first year. Prior to that, the former Iowa Hawkeye standout was a head coach at West Des Moines Valley High School in Iowa for four years where he produced a 70-27 record with two trips to the Iowa Class 4A State Tournament.
Dylan Howard is in his 21st season of collegiate coaching and concluded his fifth season as the associate head coach at Morehead State University. This season, Howard helped lead the Eagles to a 23-14 record and 11-5 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference while finishing second in the College Basketball Invitational. Howard has helped the Eagles to a pair of 20-plus win seasons in the last four years and the 23 wins this season were the most at the school since 2010-11. Howard also served as head coach at North Park University in Illinois (2011-12), assistant coach at Mississippi Valley State (2008-11) and head coach at Hardin-Simmons University in Texas from 2001-08.
Jeff Kaminsky just completed his 11th season as head coach at Valley City State University in North Dakota and has over 450 wins as a collegiate head coach. At Valley City State, he has established a nationally ranked NAIA program that was 22-11 this season and finished 21st in the final NAIA Division II Coaches Poll while advancing to the second round of the national tournament. His 2012-13 team went 23-7 and also advanced to the NAIA National Tournament. Kaminsky also served as head coach at Wisconsin-Superior from 1994-2005 and was head men’s basketball coach, athletic director and student activities director at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin from 1987-1994.
The four finalists will be on campus for interviews next week (June 7-10). Members of the Wayne community are invited to meet each candidate and ask questions during a campus/community forum that will be held at 1:30 p.m. each day in Gardner Hall on the Wayne State campus. Zac Claus will be on campus Tuesday, June 7, Jeff Kaminsky Wednesday, June 8, Jeff Horner Thursday, June 9 and Dylan Howard on Friday, June 10.
Wayne State College is an NCAA Division II school located in Wayne, Nebraska and competes in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Wildcats finished the 2015-16 season with a record of 5-24 overall and 3-19 in the NSIC and graduated just one senior.