It's been a busy couple of months for Dale Lennon as the coaching carousel continues to spin at the University of Mary.

After hiring Craig Bagnell as head football coach earlier this month, the U-Mary athletic director is now in the middle of finding a new volleyball coach.

Thais Franca resigned last week, citing family reasons. Franca is from Brazil and had her visa coming up soon.

"We were definitely not thinking of any change in the volleyball program," Lennon said. "It was a personal decision for Thais. ... She did a great job of stabilizing the program and making us competitive. The record may not reflect how competitive we were, but I definitely felt like the program was on the right path."

With more than three decades of experience coaching college football, finding a new leader for that program was more of a natural process for Lennon. While it's a less familiar sport, he's using the same principals in hiring a volleyball coach.

"I've reached out to people that know the game. I want to talk to people that are respected in the volleyball coaching profession and try to apply that to what kind of coach we want leading our program," Lennon said. "I'm confident we're going to get a quality coach. I believe this is can be a very attractive job and will intrigue a lot of quality coaches."

Lennon didn't put a firm timetable on making a hire. There is not the same time pressure, relative to recruiting, that there was in hiring a football coach. Ideally, he would like to have a coach in place when students return after the holiday break.

Lennon has enjoyed the process of bringing new coaches to campus.

"When you're a football coach you have tunnel vision on just your sport and your players," he said. "As the AD, you have to have the complete vision of the athletic department and base your decisions on what's in the best interests of everybody."

Football update

Lennon said new football coach Craig Bagnell is, "Burning the midnight oil." They're also close to having all the assistant coaches in place.

"My goal was to have the staff complete by mid-December and I think we're on track to do that," Lennon said.

Reach Tribune sports editor Dave Selvig at (701) 250-8246 or