From the outside ... and I can't begin to say that I know Jeff Bower beyond what a few people who know him have passed on ... Marist's decision to hire Bower looks like a very good one.
The school announced that decision earlier today, and Bower will be on campus Monday for an introductory press conference in the Cabaret of the school's Student Center.
It has to open up players' eyes, it creates instant credibility, when a MAAC-level team's coach has NBA experience, and Bower has plenty.
Bower had been in the NBA for most of the past 14 seasons in a variety of positions, even serving as the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets, most recently, for the last 73 games of the 2009-10 season (34-39 record). He has also been that organization's general manager for most of his NBA years.
This past season, though, he was a talent evaluator for the Dallas Mavericks
It never hurts, either, when a new coach already has a little of the proverbial lay of the land. Bower had already been at Marist for nine seasons, as the program's top assistant under Dave Magarity for the first four of those and, then, as Magarity's associate head coach for the last five before moving on after the 1994-95 season.
And, it doesn't hurt when school administrators already have a pretty good idea of a candidate's personality, and Marist had that, too.
A source passed along the fact that Bower and Marist athletic director Tim Murray became close friends when they shared an apartment for a couple of years back in the 1980s.
So, why come back to Marist?
Bower told the search committee that he wanted to get back to hi scoaching roots.
Bower also told school administrators that he was on the staff the last time the program went to the NCAA tournament, and wanted to be the coach who got them there again.
Plus, he met his wife (an athletic trainer at the school when they met) during his previous time at Marist and they both have family in the Poughkeepsie area.
Bower also told the search committee that he has a summer home in nearby Oneonta and he believes the Poughkeepsie area would be a great place for his 10-year old daughter to grow up.
Bower also assured Marist administrators that he has kept in touch with the AAU and high school coaches and other connections that would be beneficial to recruiting at the mid-major level.
"I'm excited to join the Marist community and have high hopes and expectations for our basketball program," Bower said, in a release issued by the school. "My family and I hope to make positive contributions to Marist and the Poughkeepsie communities ...
"The facilities (at Marist) re first-class and provide our student-athletes with an environment to pursue excellence."
During Bower's previous time at Marist, the Red Foxes won the ECAD Metro Conference regular-season title in 1987 and '88, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1977. He aided in the development of 7-foot-0 center Rik Smits, during that player's time at the school.