From the department of well-known faces in new places ...
Two formerly prominent MAAC players have landed new coaching opportunities.
Fifi Camara, the conference's women's player of the Year for the 2005-06 season, has returned to her alma mater, joining the Marist coaching staff as its director of basketball operations.
And, former Siena standout Brian Bidlingmyer, who graduated from that school in 1995, has become the director of player development at Western Kentucky.
"We are extremely happy to have Fifi Camara back at Marist College. She will be a tremendous role model for our players and a tireless worker on our staff," said Marist coach Brian Giorgis, earlier this week. "I know that our fans will be happy to see Fifi back on the floor at the McCann Arena. She is a wonderful addition to our staff."
After transferring from Division III Genesee, Camara enjoyed two very successful seasons in a Marist uniform. In just 59 games for the Red Foxes, Camara scored a total of 938 points and collected 506 rebounds, ranking her first on the Red Foxes’ career records with 8.6 rebounds per game and second all-time with 15.6 points per game. She was an All-MAAC First Team selection in both seasons and was Marist women’s basketball’s first ever MAAC Player of the Year in her senior year. That season, Camara helped the Red Foxes to a 23-win season, a school record at the time, and their first of six straight MAAC championships.
As Director of Basketball Operations, Camara will be responsible for coordinating team travel, film exchange and editing.
Bidlingmyer joins the Western Kentucky staff in 2011-12 in a position that will focus on players' academics, after spending the last six seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
While at Milwaukee, Bidlingmyer helped to oversee recruiting efforts while also participating in all of the on-court aspects of head coach Rob Jeter’s program.
"Brian has a wealth of different experience at many different levels, and he is a guy who is really going to help our staff with various aspects of our program," WKU head coach Ken McDonald said. "He is going to have a high amount of focus on the academic progress of our players, community relations and the day-to-day operation of our basketball program. He will be a great glue-guy for our program and will pitch in with everything that makes a high-level program operate efficiently."
Bidlingmyer has delivered results at each of his previous coaching stops as well. In two seasons at Binghamton alongside current WKU assistant coach Lawrence Brenneman, he helped Al Walker build the Bearcat program into one of the up-and-coming squads in the America East Conference.
Bidlingmyer's coaching career also includes a stop at Lamar University where he served under Mike Deane, the former Siena coach who directed the Saints in the first three years of Bidlingmyer's playing days there.
Under Mike Deane at Lamar, Bidlingmyer served as the program's recruiting coordinator in addition to his on-the-floor coaching duties, helping the Cardinals capture the 2000 Southland Conference Championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 17 years.
Bidlingmyer also worked with Deane for two seasons at Marquette, and was the director of the Mike Deane Basketball Camps for all six years he worked with Deane.
His coaching experience has also included summer stints overseas with People-To-People Sports. He led a team to France during the summer of 2000 before taking teams to Australia in the summers of 2001 and 2002. He also toured Romania as a player with a college all-star team in 1991.
Bidlingmyer played four seasons at Siena College, where he served as team captain his senior year. The Saints advanced to the NIT semifinals in 1994, winning a school-record 25 games. He played in 118 consecutive games at the school and led the team in rebounding as a junior. He also holds a pair of Siena single-game records for field goal percentage (8-for-8) and steals (10). The steals mark is also still a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference record.