By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Gubser Elementary School physical education teacher and volunteer McNary High School coach Wally Wing was recently named the interim head coach of the Willamette University womens basketball team.

Wing will be the interim head coach until the search for a new head coach is completed. His primary duties will be to follow up with Willamette’s recruits for the upcoming season, finalize details regarding the 2012-13 schedule and be available as a resource for the current players.

“I really had the feeling that the girls on the team were a little bit lost after losing their last coach, so my role is to be the person they can talk to, be somebody they can come to with questions,” Wing said.

“I’m helping to give them a positive finish academically, helping square away summer jobs and give them some workouts and a calendar of what to do to keep moving forward.”

As the primary assistant coach for the Willamette men’s basketball team, Wing spent 22 seasons working under Head Coach Gordie James from 1987-2009. Wing made significant contributions to the team and helped coach the Bearcats to the NAIA National Championship in 1992-93 when Willamette achieved a 29-4 record.

Since taking the position he’s met with the girls as a team and individually setting goals for the offseason as the team preps for a return to the court next fall.

In addition to tracking the progress of recruits, Wing also has a hand in selecting new ones for the Bearcats.

“We’re looking for someone who has a high GPA and high SAT scores because the standards are high,” he said. “It’s finding the right academically-minded athlete who can come to Willamette and excel.”