Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm / Updated at 2:14 am
Coaches across all CU sports ready to adjust after move

Creighton fans looking for details on how Bluejay athletics will operate upon entering the new Big East are in the same boat with most of the coaches.

They don't know, either.

“We have had almost no discussion so far on details and specifics,” men's soccer coach Elmar Bolowich said Wednesday. “I have a schedule full of Valley teams right now.

“I've been told to play a Big East schedule. So I don't know what's going to happen, when it's going to happen or how it's going to happen.”

Unlike at some schools that have switched leagues, there was no meeting between the coaches and the Creighton administration before the change.

“It was so there was no speculation or no rumors started or any feathers ruffled,” Bolowich said. “I perfectly understand.

“But now we have to kick into high gear. We are a fall sport. It's going to be tough on some teams when we have to tell them we cannot play.”

Bolowich praised the move, as did volleyball coach Kirsten Bernthal Booth.

“This is the right move, not only for athletics but for academics,” Booth said. “Creighton University will be better off with this move.”

Men's soccer, which has been a national force, will enter the toughest league in the country. Bolowich isn't intimidated.

“We want to compete and play for championships,” he said. “We play a nationally competitive schedule and will continue to.”

Volleyball also has been built to contend for titles.

“We're at a point in the program that wherever we go, we're shooting to win,” Booth said. “So our goal is to be Big East champions next year, just as it would be to be Valley champions.”

Travel and recruiting become issues when changing leagues, especially with Creighton being on the far western end of a league called the Big East.

Booth said she's not concerned about travel.

“As for travel time, a lot of people from the outside are concerned about it,” she said. “But I think our administrators looked at it and it's probably not going to be that much different. We'll just be in planes, not buses.”

As for chartering flights for long trips, neither Booth nor Bolowich knew how often that will be available.

In recruiting, Bolowich isn't looking for major change.

“It was not that difficult to recruit in the Valley,” he said. “Coming from the ACC (North Carolina), I thought it would at first. But being here two years, it has been pretty good.

“So will it be easier to recruit? Maybe East Coast kids. But that will be told over time.”

For volleyball, with the caliber of player in the Midwest, Booth doesn't expect to radically realign her roster.

“The lucky thing for volleyball is the state of Nebraska and the Midwest has phenomenal players,” she said. “A lot of other schools come in here to recruit. So our base will remain where it has been.”

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Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

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