Star-Bulletin Sports



Wilton to stay at UH

The Warrior volleyball coach
won't pursue the opening at BYU

By Grace Wen

Hawaii volleyball coach Mike Wilton announced yesterday that he is withdrawing his name from consideration for the Brigham Young coaching position.

Wilton and five other candidates were being considered for the vacancy created by BYU coach Carl McGown's resignation in April.

Wilton met with Brigham Young officials last week in a series of informational meetings.

His withdrawal came as a bit of a surprise to BYU officials.

"He was certainly one of our top candidates," BYU athletic director Val Hale said. "He would have made a great men's coach at BYU. He's a very impressive person. We enjoyed him and his wife. It was a little bit of a surprise. But we fully support his decision."

Wilton attended graduate school in the mid-1970s at BYU. His master's thesis was chaired by McGown. It was his personal faith and a promise he made in January that led him to Provo, Utah, last week.

"I've always had great memories of that place and how I was treated there," Wilton said. "I harbored a dream of someday working at a church school. So when this opportunity arose, it was a strong attraction.

"At this point in time, I don't think I can go coach a team against a team that I've dedicated 10 years of my life to. It's the journey that matters most to me."

In his 10 years at the helm, Wilton has compiled the most victories of any coach in the program's history with an overall record of 200-87.

Wilton said that he consulted with his family following the trip and the decision was left to him. He said he followed the process he normally takes and prayed about it.

"This absolutely was not about compensation," Wilton said. "It was for deep religious convictions that I have, that school is sponsored by my church. That was the attraction.

"I indicated to our leadership on upper campus that this was not a bargaining ploy. I wouldn't do that. It's not my style. We've had some preliminary talks about things and I suspect we'll have some more."

Now that the main decision has been made, Wilton said that he plans to celebrate the Warriors' national title.

"One big decision is enough for me," Wilton said. "Things are going to work out and I'm going to relax for a while. I don't take many vacations, but I think I'm going to do that."

More honors: First-team All-Americans Costas Theocharidis and Dejan Miladinovic earned Verizon Academic All-District 8 recognition for their efforts in the classroom.

Theocharidis carried a 3.73 GPA in business, while Miladinovic held a 3.82 average in business finance. They are the first Warriors to earn Verizon District 8 honors.

To the White House?: Since winning the NCAA title, celebrations have been plentiful for Hawaii, but there could be one more trip this fall.

Gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle is trying to arrange a visit to the White House for the Warriors. Lingle visited with Wilton during the Warriors' trolley ride through town and the two discussed the possibility of a trip to Washington.

"It's a matter of scheduling," said Lenny Klompus, the Lingle campaign's director of communications. "It takes some time, but Linda has put in a request through her White House contacts."

UH Athletics

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