Pratt Community College has completed the hiring process for its next head volleyball coach, bringing in Brian Dickens out of Jasper, Texas.


Pratt Community College has completed the hiring process for its next head volleyball coach, bringing in Brian Dickens out of Jasper, Texas.

Dickens comes in after two seasons at Jasper High School, which is near Houston toward the Louisiana border. Prior to that, he coached at a large school in Florida and at Iowa Wesleyan. The committee looking for the new coach thought Dickens had the best interview of the multiple candidates interviewed.

“He’s an older guy,” said athletic director Kurt McAfee. “He’s close to Pat’s age. I talked to a guy who was the head coach at the Citadel, and that was one of his references. He said the guy can coach. I talked to his principal and AD and he was leaving on good terms from Jasper. The returning lettermen on the team were in on all the interviews, and this was their pick.”

Dickens was not one of the names that surfaced early in the search, which included some younger area coaches who still have much to prove, as well as an experienced coach from the Albany, N.Y., area. McAfee said Dickens was one of the last candidates to get an interview, but once he had a chance to speak with the committee, he was the leading candidate the rest of the way.

“He was one of the last ones we interviewed, and the girls really related to him,” he said. “They really liked him and everybody on the committee liked him. He was really the best interview and it came down to him and one other candidate.”

McAfee did not get the chance to interview Dickens face to face, as he didn’t want to ask his two finalists to pay their own way on a long trip just to interview. Despite not getting that chance, he said he feels good about the decision.

“It might not be the best way of doing this, but I’m comfortable based on the people I’ve talked to and his references,” he said. “One thing I do like about him is he’s an older gentleman and has been around for awhile. Most of his experience is in high school, but in Texas and Florida, they are very competitive.”

Dickens is in town today to sign his contract and look for a place to live. He replaces Patrick Hall, who left Pratt to take the same job at Barton County in April.

Shanline and Shaw still looking for help

Women’s basketball coach Stephanie Shanline and men’s coach Jesse Shaw are both looking for assistants.

Patrick Harrison, Shanline’s former assistant, has left Pratt to join the Wichita State women’s basketball coaching staff as a graduate assistant for Jodi Adams.

Shaw, who was promoted to head coach in early May, is still interviewing candidates, but hopes to wrap things up as the summer recruiting period begins.