St. Scholastica women’s basketball coach Stacy Deadrick gave John Motherwell his first assistant coaching position in 1998, and she has no doubt he would make a good choice to be the next coach to lead the Minnesota Duluth women’s basketball team.

Motherwell was announced Tuesday as one of four finalists for the Bulldogs’ position, joining former Western Michigan women’s assistant coach Cara Pearson, St. Mary’s (Minn.) women’s head coach Mandy Pearson (no relation) and former Western Carolina recruiting coordinator Jonelle Streed.

Motherwell, who coached at St. Scholastica from 1998-2000, is an assistant coach for the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team.

“I have kept in touch with John. He is a very close friend,” Deadrick said. “As you can see he has done very well for himself.”

Former Minnesota Duluth women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles resigned June 1 after seven seasons with the Bulldogs, citing an unhealthy work environment. She was the third female head coach to leave the UMD athletic department this year, following women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller and Jen Banford, who served a dual role as softball coach and women’s hockey director of operations.

Wiles led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Division II tournament in 2010 and 2012 and had a 109-86 mark at UMD. The Bulldogs went 12-15 in 2014-15, Wiles’ only losing season in Duluth.

UMD will conduct on-campus interviews with the four finalists this week, with a new head coach expected to be named later this month. All four finalists have ties to Minnesota.

Motherwell, Cara Pearson and Jonelle Streed all worked with NCAA Division I programs, while Mandy Pearson, working at an NCAA Division III program, has the experience of being a head coach.

“It was a very strong candidate pool,” UMD athletic director Josh Berlo said. “We had lots of interest in the position. There were no issues with timing. We’re very pleased with the strength of the four finalists.”

Motherwell joined the Gophers staff in May 2014 after previously coaching at North Dakota, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Concordia-St. Paul and St. Scholastica. Minnesota has had back-to-back seasons with at least 20 wins, going 23-10 this past winter and qualifying for the NCAA tournament. The Michigan native got his start coaching high school in his home state for five seasons.

Cara Pearson is a former Gopher, having led the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1994. She ranks No. 19 in career scoring at Minnesota. She also played professionally for the WNBA’s Cleveland Rockers in 1999.

Mandy Pearson has coached at Saint Mary’s in Winona, Minn., since 2007, having guided the team to a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season title and NCAA Division III tournament appearance in 2013-14. It was the Cardinals’ first MIAC regular-season title since 1985-86. St. Mary’s also reached the title game of the MIAC tournament for the first time in school history. The Cardinals went 18-9 this past winter.

Streed played collegiately at St. Cloud State and coached previously at Miami (Ohio) and the University of Arizona and was an intern at Stanford. In high school she was a Minnesota Miss Basketball finalist, scoring a school-record 1,799 points at Cambridge-Isanti, before playing in every game over a four-year career at St. Cloud State. She set a program record with 87 three-pointers for the Huskies, including career highs of seven 3-pointers and 32 points in her final game. She graduated magna cum laude from St. Cloud State in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a minor in coaching. She earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from Arizona in 2006.

Former longtime Bulldog women’s basketball coach Karen Stromme is leading the UMD women’s basketball search committee, which includes two members of the current team.

“We’re looking forward to a bright future for UMD women’s basketball,” Berlo said.

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