Friday, May 25, 2012

Rider Never Looks Long or Far For Men's Coach

You can say one thing about Rider University searches for men's basketball coaches: the decision-making process doesn't take long.

OK, a second thing, too: It's not exactly wide-reaching, either.

When Kevin Bannon moved on to Rutgers in 1997, the school just moved assistant coach Don Harnum into the position.

When Harnum, in 2005, moved into administration to become the school's athletic director, his top assistant coach, Tommy Dempsey, moved up.

And, now, with Dempsey moving on to take over the program at Binghamton, the blueprint for finding his successor remains the same.

Kevin Baggett, whose title had been associate head coach of the Broncs, was officially introduced as the program's new head coach earlier this week.

No need to change what's working. Both Harnum and Dempsey, upon their respective moves into the lead chair, had good results directing the Rider men's basketball team. The same is expected from Baggett.

"Kevin has been a major part of our recent success and I am confident he has the ability to be an excellent head coach who understands what it takes to be successful at Rider," said Harnum, at the press conference to introduce Baggett as head coach.

Baggett, a former Saint Joseph's player, has coached on the Division I level for 16 years and has been on the Rider staff since the 2006-07 season. Over the last six seasons, Rider's 111 wins is the most by a Division I program in the Metropolitan New York/New Jersey area and the third-most in the MAAC.

Before coming to Rider Baggett also served as an assistant at James Madison, Howard, Western Kentucky and Coastal Carolina.

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