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UO's Litzenberger among the finalists at Fresno Pacific.

Byline: Bob Clark The Register-Guard

Fred Litzenberger, for the past decade an assistant coach for either the Oregon women's or men's basketball teams, is one of the finalists for the vacant head coaching position of the men's team at Fresno Pacific University.

Litzenberger didn't respond to messages left for him Thursday at his UO office or on his cell phone, but was quoted in the Fresno Bee newspaper that the Fresno Pacific job is `a great situation. The people at Fresno Pacific, from the president's office to the faculty, care about the student-athletes and the Christian way of life. ... They want to do things the right way and for the right reasons. That's something that sometimes is really lacking at the (Division I) level.'

The 58-year-old Litzenberger visited the Fresno Pacific campus earlier this week as part of the interview process. The other known finalist is Liberty University assistant Bob Davis, also 58, who is scheduled to be in California next week for his formal interview.

Dennis Janzen, director of athletics at Fresno Pacific, told the Fresno newspaper `I think we would hit a home run with either' of the two candidates.

Litzenberger previously worked in the California city as an assistant coach from 1981 to '85 on the staff of Boyd Grant at Fresno State. Litzenberger also served as an assistant for Grant at Colorado State for two seasons on the same staff with Ernie Kent, the UO men's head coach.

`I loved it in Fresno when I worked with Grant at Fresno State because of the people,' Litzenberger said. `People in the San Joaquin Valley love athletics and support people who work hard and kids who play hard and smart and play together as a team.'

Litzenberger was an assistant with the UO women's team from 1995 through the 2001 season, when the departure of head coach Jody Runge precipitated a shuffling of the entire women's staff. He was then hired for an opening on Kent's staff, with his duties primarily related to defense in his four seasons with the UO men.

The Fresno Pacific position came open after Mark Yoder resigned following a 9-20 season. Yoder had only one winning record in his seven seasons, and left with an 83-132 record at the school.

Fresno Pacific is an NAIA school with an undergraduate enrollment of 1,200 and competes in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

Litzenberger has previously served as a head coach for four seasons at Hamline University in Minnesota and for one season at Western State in Colorado, the year prior to being hired for the position on the UO women's staff.

Schedule for Ducks

The Pape Jam, with Oregon's opponent slated to be national title contender Illinois, is set for Dec. 10 at the Rose Garden in Portland.

In what should be a challenging nonleague portion of the schedule, the Ducks will play road games at New Mexico, Vanderbilt and the University of Portland. Oregon will open the counting season by playing host to an `exempt' tournament, where the three games played will count as only one toward the NCAA limit.

The tournament games will be at McArthur Court on consecutive nights beginning Nov. 20. Tentatively listed as the other participants are the University of the Pacific, Alabama A&M and Maine. If the Ducks finish first in that pool of teams, they are scheduled to play the winner of another group of teams playing in a similar format, with the opponent possibly Georgetown and the game likely at Mac Court on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Oregon had previously been listed as playing Oklahoma in Oklahoma City next season, in return for the Sooners playing in the Pape Jam the following year. The Ducks and Sooners are still working to finalize a pair of games, but it now seems less likely they will play in the 2005-06 season

The Pac-10 schedule for next season currently lists the Ducks as opening conference play at home against Oregon State on Dec. 30.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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