Former Bison basketball coach Phillips a finalist at Idaho State

Coach who led NDSU to two NCAA tournaments was recently fired at Ohio Univeristy
Former North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips was a finalist for the head coaching job at Idaho State. Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports
Former North Dakota State head coach Saul Phillips was a finalist for the head coaching job at Idaho State. Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports

Former North Dakota State men's basketball coach Saul Phillips is a finalist for the open head coaching position at Idaho State.

The news was first reported on Twitter by Madison Guernsey, sports editor of the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello.

Phillips coached the Bison from 2007-2014, leading them to the NCAA tournament twice before leaving to take the head coaching job at Ohio University. He was recently fired from the Bobcats after five seasons.

Phillips went 134-83 in seven years at NDSU. His 2008-09 team went 26-7 and won the Summit League tournament championship to advance to the NCAA tournament in the Bison's first year of Division I eligibility. NDSU was 26-6 in 2013-14, when they won the Summit League and beat Oklahoma in the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing to San Diego State.

Idaho State, a member of the Big Sky Conference, did not renew Bill Evans' contract. He was 71-141 in seven seasons. Evans' final season at Idaho State ended with an 11-19 record and a first-round loss in the Big Sky Conference tournament. The Bengals didn't win a postseason game under Evans and have failed to win a postseason game since 2009.

Nevada assistant Gus Argenal is another finalist for the job, according to the Idaho State Journal. It's believed there are three finalists, but the third is unknown at this time.