According to a published report Tommy Dempsey is leaving Rider to become the men's basketball coach at Binghamton of the America East.
That report appears in today's Trenton (N.J.) Times, which cites "two sources with direct knowledge of the situation" to confirm that Dempsey has agreed to become Binghamton's coach, pending an agreement on contract details.
The 38-year old Dempsey has a 119-105 record at Rider. From 2007-08 through 2010-11 his teams won 82 games, the most of any four-year stretch in Broncs' Division I history. But, his team only won 13 games this past season, the victim of some early season injuries and player ineligibilities.
If Dempsey does indeed move on, he will be remembered by this hoopscribe as an extremely personable, cooperative individual who wasn't afraid to speak his mind ... a trait well-admired by those of us who try to bring some information via the written word.
While recognized as a strong recruiter, the perception here is that his teams never had the most talent among MAAC programs but were always extremely competitive. Hard to judge a coach's abilities without seeing dozens of practices as well as games. But, based on results alone the perception is that he is very good at coaching a team, too.
Dempsey, according to multiple stories from Trenton and Binghamton, was specifically targeted to replace deposed Mark Macon by Bears' athletic director Patrick Elliott, who previously was the AD at Saint Peter's, also a MAAC school.
Sources indicate that Dempsey is likely to be paid somewhere between $250,000 and $300,000 per year at Binghamton, nearly double his Rider compensation.
According to a published report, key employees of Binghamton's athletic communications office were told to remain on campus for a possible men's basketball press conference rather than travel to handle communications for other sports.
Although the America East is considered a slight drop in level of play from the MAAC, Binghamton has outstanding facilities, including a relatively new 5,200-seat on-campus arena.
However, the program has had problems in recent years, or since capturing its only America East title in 2009.
After that, an investigation by the State University of New York found that the school's administration had lowered its admission standards for prospective recruits of former coach Kevin Broadus, who was fired after that report was released.
The scandal also resulted in the school's president, provost, two assistant coaches, the athletic director and assistant athletic director losing their jobs.
Binghamton had a 2-29 record this past season and was ranked last (344th of 344 Division I teams) in the NCAA's Ratings Percentage Index.
Since the end of March three members of this past season's promising freshman class have opted to transfer out of the program while two recruits who had given verbal commitments to the program also opted to accept scholarships elsewhere.