Montana State-Billings women's basketball coach Karyn Ridgeway and tennis coach Jerry Peach will not be re-hired for the 2003-2004 school year, The Gazette has learned from sources within the school's athletic department.
The fate of volleyball coach Pa'ulasi Matavao also remains undecided, the sources added.
Ridgeway was informed of the decision Thursday and Peach Friday in their year-end evaluations done by MSU-B athletic director Gary Gray.
Gray said no decisions have become final.
"We don't publicly discuss any personnel issues," said Gray, when asked about the status of the three coaches. "We're in the process of doing our end of the year evaluations of every coach and I've sent my letters of recommendation to Chancellor (Ron) Sexton.
"To my knowledge, he hasn't made any decisions."
Sexton is in Great Falls this week for a Board of Regents meetings.
Ridgeway could not be reached for comment Friday, while Peach declined to confirm or deny his job status. Peach added he would know something definite on Monday.
Matavao, when reached by phone, said he had a meeting scheduled with Sexton on June 10.
Coach's contracts for the Montana state universities run July 1-June 30.
Sources said the reason for not re-hiring Ridgeway and Peach centers on fundraising.
To help balance the MSU-B athletic budget, the coach of each sport is given a set of numbers to reach through fund-raising efforts for the year.
Of the state's three largest schools — University of Montana, Montana State and Montana State-Billings — MSU-B is the closest to having a balanced athletic budget.
Ridgeway is 61-22 in three seasons at MSU-B with two appearances in the NCAA Division II West Regional. This year's team finished 21-7 and reached the second round of the regional. She is the third-winningest coach in the history of the program. Ridgeway previously was the head coach at Western State in Colorado and Montana-Western in Dillon.
Peach has been the head coach of MSU-B tennis since 1997 and was instrumental in the development and building of the indoor tennis facility on campus. The tennis bubble has been used by various tennis organizations in Billings and was the site of this year's Eastern AA divisional. Prior to his arrival at MSU-B, Peach was the head coach at Montana State, where he earned Big Sky Conference coach of the year honors in 1989 and 1990.
Matavao also completed his third season as the Yellowjackets' coach. This year's team finished 9-18. His 2001 team finished 15-15, only the second time the program has finished .500 for the season. One of the 15 victories was over Brigham Young-Hawaii, the first time ever that an MSU-B volleyball team defeated an NCAA nationally-ranked opponent.
If Matavao returns for a fourth season, it will be the longest tenure for any volleyball coach at MSU-B since the program started in 1984.