Steve Huber’s decision to leave Creighton leaves women’s basketball coach Jim Flanery with a big hole to fill on his staff.
Huber, who has been named the head coach at Division II Drury University, not only was instrumental in finding players for the Bluejays but also in developing them once they joined the program.
“He did a very good job in skill development,” Flanery said. “He was very good at getting kids to buy into their skill sets. He believed in our kids and he got them to believe in themselves.”
The 52-year-old Huber had spent the last seven seasons on Flanery’s staff. In addition to primarily working with the team’s post players, Huber served as the program’s recuiting coordinator.
That made the decision to leave the program doubly difficult for Huber.
“I got the chance to get to know the players before they got here and then work with them once they were here,” Huber said. “You get to the point where you look at them as you would your own daughter, and you feel like you’re betraying them when you leave.
“I don’t cry a lot but when I met with them to tell them I was leaving, there were some tears shed. Those girls mean everything to me, but I know I’m leaving them in good hands.”
Even though he has longed to become a head coach, Huber said it also was difficult to leave Creighton at a time when the Bluejays are about to join the new Big East. The opportunity to take over program that has won 78 percent of its games and has never had a losing season was just too good to pass up, Huber said.
“This was no slam dunk, not with the team we have coming back and going to the Big East,” he said. “Drury is the only Division II school I’d consider leaving Creighton for. It’s a great opportunity for me.
“Their administration wants success and will give me all the resources that I’ll need to run a successful program.”
Flanery said he will be flexible in searching for Huber’s replacement.
“Steve did a lot of recruiting and was very good at it,” Flanery said. “It’s natural to think the person we find to replace him would be extremely experienced in that area. I want someone that either has experience or the personality to be good in recruiting.
“Steve did a good job of mentoring the rest of our staff in recruiting. I’m not married to a gender, and the age thing is not a big thing to me. I’m interested in getting the right person in here.”
Huber came to Creighton after serving as an assistant coach at San Diego State, Louisville and Central Missouri. He also was the head coach from 1994-99 at Benedictine, where he guided a program that had won 10 games in the three seasons before his arrival to a 108-55 record and three appearances in the national NAIA tournament.
His time at Creighton, Huber said, has left him eager for the next step in his career.
“I’m so much better prepared to be a head coach than I was seven years ago when I came here,” Huber said. “Jim has a lot to do with that. He gave me a lot of responsibility and he trusted me. I can’t thank him enough for that.”
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