Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beyer's Arrest Brings To Mind His Failures at Siena

There was some disturbing news, earlier this week, coming out of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., concerning a one-time MAAC connection. And, it didn't have anything to do with the thoroughbred race horses that populate the area this time each year.

Former Siena College head men's basketball coach Bob Beyer was arrested earlier this week for fighting with a police officer, city police said in reports throughout the area's media outlets.

Beyer's arrest brings to mind one of the low points in the history of Siena basketball, a time when Beyer showed himself to, possibly, have been the worst head coach in the history of the conference.

Since his Siena days Beyer, now 51, has been employed exclusively as an assistant coach both at the college and NBA levels. He was recently hired as an assistant coach with the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats on the staff of another former Siena connection, Steve Clifford.

Clifford worked one year at Siena, 1994-95, on Beyer's staff, before moving on to be the head coach at Adelphi before eventually landing in the NBA.

Beyer has also been in the NBA for some time having served as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic for five seasons (2007-12) before spending last season as an assistant with the Golden State Warriors.

The Bobcats, who hired Beyer on July 1, released a statement this weekend that indicated that the former Siena coach remains employed by the team, but Bobcats officials would not comment further on Beyer's arrest until the legal process has taken its course.

Published reports allege that Beyer was involved in a fracas that began inside a Saratoga Springs restaurant and, eventually, moved outside.

Two of Beyer's acquaintances faced off with bouncers inside the restaurant, according to the police report, and were escorted from the facility, at which point one of them allegedly punched a bouncer in the nose.

While police were arresting that individual, both Beyer and his other acquaintance attempted to halt the arrest. At that time, police said, Beyer began fighting with officers.

Beyer, who now lists his residence in Maitland, Fla., was charged with second-degree obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, and disorderly conduct, a violation.

Beyer had also been an assistant coach at Siena, under Mike Deane, from 1989-93. After the 1992-93 season, he left to become an assistant coach at Wisconsin. After a year there, he became Siena's head coach when Deane left that program for Marquette..

Beyer had a three-year record of 22-59 at Siena. His .271 winning percentage is the worst by any coach in the program's Division I history, which began in 1976.

The year prior to Beyer's hiring Siena had a 25-8 record and advanced to the semifinal round of the NIT. Beyer's first season's team had four starters back from the NIT team, although the one loss (Doremus Bennerman) was a significant one.

Beyer's first season resulted in an 8-19 record, his second year produced a 5-22 mark (which remains the program's worst single-season victory total) and his third and final season finished with a 9-18 record.

Beyer's last season also included a first-round MAAC tournament flare-out that saw his over-the-top arguments with game officials draw two early technical fouls in what was an 84-44 loss to Canisius.

Beyer remains the only men's coach ever thrown out of a MAAC tournament game, and the 40-point setback was the most-lopsided game in the league's post-season event.

Shortly afterwards, MAAC officials, according to a variety of published reports, "encouraged" Siena administrators to make a coaching change, which they did, bringing in Paul Hewitt.

Hewitt's first season, with a roster made up almost entirely of players brought into the program by Beyer, finished 17-12.

It brings to mind the words once spoken by former NFL coach Bum Phillips, about Don Shula: "He could take his'n and beat your'n, and take you'n and beat his'n."

At Siena, the opposite seemed to be the case under Beyer. He lost big with players who previously had success under Deane, and also lost big with players who, immediately after his dismissal, would be successful under Hewitt.

Beyer's tenure at Siena also included considerable player issues. His best player during his years, nearly left the program over concerns with Beyer's ability to be a head coach, while at least one other player transferred out.

Beyer has never been a head coach anywhere else.

But, he was regarded as a solid assistant coach and has continued to actively work in that capacity. After being dismissed at Siena, he landed as an assistant at Northwestern for three seasons and, then, became an assistant at Texas Tech, under Bobby Knight.

His resume also includes one year as an assistant with the NBA Toronto Raptors, followed by two at the University of Dayton before his return to the NBA in 2007.

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