Thursday, April 7, 2011

Manhattan Poised to Hire LIU Coach Ferry

It appears that the last coaching domino has fallen in the conference for this off season as a a report from reliable source Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News indicates that Manhattan will name Jim Ferry, the LIU head coach, as its new program director.

Here's a report from the Daily News:

"Manhattan's month-long search for a replacement for Barry Rohrssen appears to be at an end as the Jaspers are expected to announce LIU coach Jim Ferry as their new head man either today or tomorrow.

Ferry, who guided the Blackbirds to a 27-6 record this year - including a 16-2 mark in the Northeast Conference - was on campus Tuesday to interview for the job. Neither Ferry nor anyone at Manhattan would return calls seeking comment, but one outside source told The News it's Ferry's job if he wants it, it's just a matter of dotting the i's and crossing the t's before it becomes official.

"I didn't get it from the horses mouth, but I got it from the horse in the next stall," the source said.

Considering who the Jaspers had interviewed for the job, Ferry makes the most sense. The knock on Rohrssen was that he was not a good game coach having never been a head coach at any level prior to his arrival in Riverdale. But that same thing could be said for all the candidates interviewed at Manhattan - with the exception of Bob Walsh, the head coach at Division III Rhode Island College - in that Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, Rutgers assistant Van Macon and Manhattan assistant coach Scott Padgett all lacked head coaching experience.

Ferry, who won the Jim Phelan Award in the NEC this season as Coach of the Year, would bring an exciting up-tempo style of offense. His LIU team averaged 82.7 points per game last season, fourth-best nationally.

NOTE: Ferry becomes the second coach active head coach hired by a MAAC team this off season, joining Sydney Johnson, formerly at Princeton who is taking over at Fairfield.

Your blogging hoopscribe remembers the time ... and it wasn't that long ago ... that the MAAC could never entice head coaches from elsewhere to take over its programs due to financial considerations. The traditional hire had almost always been young assistants on the rise coming from larger programs.

It has only been in the past couple of years that conference programs have begun paying enough money to its head coaches to lure other head coaches away from other conferences. In the case of Johnson leaving Princeton ... he is basically making a sideways move in terms of competititveness as the Ivy League's better teams rank with the best of the MAAC.

Siena might have started the latest trend with its hiring of Fran McCaffery, formerly the head man at UNC-Greensboro, five years ago. And, now, it has its second former head coach in Mitch Buonaguro, although Buonaguro last ran a program in the early 1990s and had been Siena's lead assistant prior to taking over this past season.

But it's easy to understand why the current MAAC openings could be filled with current successful head coaches with glowing resumes.

Both Fairfield (almost every key player returning, as well as two talented transfers becoming eligible for next season) and Manhattan (a terrific trio of young players as a strong nucleus) are poised either to remain strong (the Stags) or make a substantial jump forward in the standings (Jaspers).

And, we've always seen the benefit of succeeding in the MAAC ... it leads to even bigger and better thngs elsewhere.

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