For EWU Football, the Best Choice has Always Been In-House


The Easterner Archives

After more than two decades of being involved in EWU football, Aaron Best was handed the reigns to the program after Beau Baldwin departed for the University of California in January

By Riley Baker, Staff Reporter

On Feb. 13, EWU’s new head football coach, Aaron Best, officially signed his new contract, which pays a base salary of $180,000 in 2017 and increases by $5,000 each year through 2021.

Before the contract was signed, a hiring process had to first take place.

On Jan. 14, EWU Athletic Director Bill Chaves received a phone call. It was from Beau Baldwin, EWU’s head coach since 2008, to inform Chaves he had accepted the offensive coordinator job at Cal.

“You pick up the phone on a Saturday night and you can tell, maybe it was a little bit different,” Chaves said during the press conference the following Monday.

Later in the press conference, it was announced that assistant coaches Aaron Best and Jeff Schmedding would be co-interim head coaches, and the search for a replacement began.

“This [hiring] was kind of unique,” said Chaves. “When you have potentially internal candidates, you can have conversations with someone and then ultimately reassign them from one position to another.”

Typically when a collegiate athletic department searches for a new head coach, they will consider external options. In that case, the department and human resources have to publicly post the job opening and undergo a recruitment process.

Instead, this was a reassignment from one coaching position to another, so no public job posting was required.

“It was a reappointment of a current [EWU] employee to a new position,” Karthauser said.

For this hire, Chaves said they only looked internally to fill the vacancy.

“Because we had co-interims, it made sense to have conversations with both,” said Chaves. “Only one person ends up getting the job, so from that perspective, we thought Aaron [Best] was the right fit at the right time.”

The main points of the contract were already being discussed by EWU and Best when the job was officially offered to him, Karthauser said.

“Once you have identified the right person, then you figure out what [the contract] will look like from a yearly basis,” Karthauser said.

All aspects of the contract are looked over by both parties, and once they are all agreed upon, it needs to be signed by Chaves, Best and by EWU President Mary Cullinan.

Now, a month after Baldwin has moved on from EWU, Best officially takes over and a new era of Eagle football begins.