Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baron About to Join Others from MAAC with 400 Wins

When Canisius lost to Siena Friday night in Albany, N.Y., its head coach Jim Baron just missed out on becoming the second coach in recent days to have worked MAAC sidelines to reach 400 career victories on the Division I level.

Baron, who has 399 career D-I victories, will get there very soon.

But he got edged in the race to 400 by another coach with ties to Canisius. That would be John Beilein (at Canisius from 1992-93 through 1996-97), who recently hit that milestone and currently has a 400-252 record in Division I games.

Beilein now serves as the head coach at Michigan where his team is 16-0 and one of just two remaining men's programs still unbeaten (Duke is the other) this season.

But neither Beilen nor Baron are near the top of the victory list for coaches who, at one point, served as the head coach of a MAAC program.

The all-time leader for that is Tom Penders, who coached in the MAAC at Fordham during the conference's first five years of existence (1981-82 season through 1985-86). Penders also coached at Columbia, Rhode Island, Texas, George Washington and Houston.

No longer active as a coach, he has 595 career Division I victories.

Next is Pat Kennedy, a Penders' contemporary who coached at Iona, also in the MAAC's first five years of existence (1981-82 through 1985-86).  Kennedy also coached at Florida State, DePaul, Montana and Towson.

Kennedy, also no longer an active coach, has 483 career Division I victories.

And, third is former Siena coach Mike Deane (1986-97 through 1993-94), who also coached at Marquette, Lamar and Wagner.

Deane is still on the coaching sidelines, currently an assistant at James Madison University. He has 412 career victories as a Division I head coach.

And, then, comes Beilein and Baron.

Many thanks for much of this information to the research done by estimable Canisius sports information director Matt Reitnour, with some help from that program's standout play-by-play radio voice Jay Moran.

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