TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The 17th head men's basketball coach in College of Southern Idaho history is taking a major step in his career. Jared Phay announced on Thursday that he's accepted the associate head coach position at Idaho State University.
Phay will reunite with his former assistant coach Chris McMillian at ISU. McMillian helped coach at CSI during the 2014-15 campaign. Phay also has known ISU head coach Ryan Looney for nearly 20 years.
Phay informed his team and the school with Coach Looney on hand.
"They were happy for me, ya know I've been helping guys go from junior college to Division I for 18 years now and I had a really good opportunity to go." "They were very understanding and supportive of me," Phay explained.
Joel Bate thanked Phay for keeping the school on the national stage both academically and competitively.
"I think every year he was head coach, our student-athletes in the men's basketball program had a team GPA of well over 3.0, very proud of that, very proud that he kept us significant nationally," Bate explained. "As teams have caught up all over the nation, it's really hard to stay significant year after year. Jared kept the bar high at CSI."
Bate expects the school will receive hundreds of applicants for the position.
CSI women's basketball coach Randy Rogers said that Phay always showed respect for his program and players. He also learned a lot from watching Phay's practices.
The team of course is surprised, but supportive of him in his decision.
For his top assistant coach, Aaron Anderson, he said, "I wish him the best of luck. I think it's an unbelievable opportunity with him. I love him, I love his family, he's been like a brother to me." "We've been here all five years together. I have learned so much from him in the last five years. We've had an unbelievable run," Anderson exclaimed.
Sophomore Malik Porter added, "I just want to wish him the best."
Redshirt sophomore Coleman Sparling said, "Phay actually goes way back with my family. My dad and him are actually very close still to this day."
David Walker, a freshman added, "he taught me to be more of a man and a player at the same time." "The rules about life and he made me into a special player."
Sophomore Andrea Lo Biondo said, "he's a fighter, Coach Phay is definitely a fighter. And he has a lot of hunger for the game."
For Coreyoun Rushin, Jaxon Edelmayer and Brayden Parker, the decision to return to CSI is now uncertain.
All-American Malik Porter, who's an uncommitted sophomore, also plans to take a visit to ISU on Thursday.
Edelmayer said, "it is an option to go to Idaho State and everything and follow Coach Phay, but it's still up the air."
Parker explained, "yeah it does impact, great coach I am going on an official visit tomorrow. I met Coach Looney today, he's a really good guy, so I guess we'll see."
Rushin said, "I don't know yet, I am just going with the flow."