Apr 9, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorThe 24-year-old coach was elevated to the head men's position at the college just before the 2012-13 season began.
Central Wyoming College men's basketball coach Shelby Lindley has put his name in the running with many other applicants to be hired next season to be in charge of the program.
CWC has received around 70 applicants for the men's basketball job, which Lindley filled on an interim basis last season.
Lindley guided the Rustlers to a 23-7 finish this season in the Region IX North division. Lindley started off the year as an assistant, but was moved into the head coaching position during preseason practice after Curtis Condie was terminated in October.
Lindley was promoted to the head coaching job before the season started on Nov. 1.
"It was a pre-determined decision at the beginning of the season that we would conduct a national search," CWC executive vice president for student and academic services Jason Wood said. "That was something that we decided months ago. We have had a really good response."
Lindley came to CWC after being at Idaho State University, where he was the graduate assistant and director of basketball operations.
"It was a surreal feeling at the beginning," Lindley said. "I'm 24 years old, the youngest coach in the country at any level. The first thing we wanted to accomplish as a team was respect one another. The team was going through some hard times when I had taken over. We came together as one unit and learned what the word "respect" was with each other. Being the head coach, you learn a lot about yourself and lose a lot more sleep during the year. That's for sure."
Lindley wants to make CWC his home for many years to come.
"This is the only job in America that I want," Lindley said. "I want to be here for a long time and build a program. Our goal is to keep getting better as a program and to continue our success in the classroom as a team."
CWC has formed a search committee for the basketball slot at the college.
"They will be reviewing the applications soon," Wood said.
Wood said the committee will do telephone interviews at first.
"At that point we will determine who the finalists are," Wood said. "Based on the finalists' schedules, there will be an opportunity for a community presentation."
There isn't a specific timetable for the head coaching position to be filled.
"We are moving forward as quickly as we can, but we are doing everything that we can do a good job and get the right person," Wood said.
Wood will make a recommendation to CWC president Jo Anne McFarland about the head coaching position.
Lindley's other experience included two years at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, and the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
Lindley went to Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, Utah.
CWC battled for the top seed in the Region IX North division this year, and was in the running to host the postseason tournament.
The Rustlers ended third in the division with a 12-4 record. Casper College and Sheridan College shared the conference championship at 13-3.
"I felt like we had a very successful season," Lindley said. "Any time you win over 20 games, that's an amazing accomplishment. It allows us to carry on some momentum for next season. Our sophomore class was great. They were great kids that deserved a great season. They worked extremely hard and were great kids to be around."
Casper College won the tiebreaker over Sheridan College.
"I thought that coach Lindley did a good job," Wood said, "to come in and gain the respect of his student athletes to get them to compete and play hard."
Casper College hosted the Region IX tournament last month. At the regional tournament, CWC outlasted Trinidad State 72-67 in double overtime.
Otero College then eliminated CWC 58-56 in the quarterfinals.
"We were right there competing for a regional title down to the final game or two," Wood said. "I know that everybody was disappointed at the tournament. They had a good showing. Even that game was competitive. We were right there with the best. "
North Plate beat Otero 51-46 for the regional championship.
"Being the head coach, I learned that the players play the game," Lindley said. "This game is about the players. It's not about the coaches.
"My job is to bring a group of individuals together and get them to play hard as a team. I learned that creating relationships amongst our group and creating a culture of hard work was the key."
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