Al Skinner

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Kennesaw State hires former Boston College head coach Al Skinner

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Al Skinner has been hired by Kennesaw State, Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Sunday afternoon.

Skinner, who has served as an assistant coach at Bryant since 2013, spent 13 seasons as the head coach at Boston College, winning 247 games and taking the Eagles to the NCAA tournament seven times. He made two previous trips to the tournament at Rhode Island, where he spent nine years.

While Skinner has a successful track record as a coach, it all came in the northeast, beginning his career as an assistant at Marist before stops at URI, BC and most recently, Bryant. His first priority will be to retain or hire assistants with ties to the Atlanta area.

There are connections between Skinner and Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams. The two both attended UMass, although their times in Amherst were separated by several decades. Williams went on to receive a Master’s Degree from Boston College in 2002, Skinner’s fifth year at Chestnut Hill.

Skinner will become the third coach the Kennesaw State program has had since 2013. Lewis Preston, who took a leave of absence during the 2013-14 season, was relieved of his duties in March 2014. Jimmy Lallathin was let go last month, after his first season as head coach.

He will be taking over a team that went 10-22 (4-10 Atlantic Sun) this past season, finishing second-to-last in the conference. The Owls program has lost 20 or more games in each of the last six seasons.

Report: a former NBA veteran is considered the frontrunner for College of Charleston job

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After several investigations, the College of Charleston fired head coach Doug Wojcik, who had been accused of verbally and physically abusing players during his two years at the school.

According to a report on Thursday from Andrew Miller of the Post and Courier, an eight-person search committee is looking to have a candidate to present to College of Charleston president Glenn F. McConnell by Aug. 19, the day classes are set to begin. It is believed that Anthony Johnson, who a member of the CofC Athletics Hall of Fame, is the frontrunner.

From the Post and Courier:

“There’s a lot of support for Anthony and a lot of people who want to see Anthony get the job,” the source said. “There’s no question that he’s a very strong candidate, but the committee does not want to rush to a decision. They want it to be a thorough process so they can get the right person in place.”

Johnson set the school record for assists with 520 while leading the Cougars to an appearance in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. He went onto become an NBA journeyman, playing for seven different teams in his 13-year career.

Miller also mentioned four other candidates for the position. Among them are Wofford head coach Mike Young, Clemson assistant Earl Grant, Tulane assistant Shammond Williams and former Boston College head coach and current Bryant associate head coach Al Skinner.

Wojcik was initially investigated for verbal abuse in early July. After five weeks, a detailed 50-page report of the allegations and a second investigation, Wojcik was fired for just cause on August 5. In two seasons, he was 38-29.

At the start of the month, assistant Antonio Reynolds Dean was named acting head coach.

Al Skinner returns to the bench as Tim O’Shea’s assistant at Bryant

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Al Skinner will return to the sidelines for the 2013-2014 season.

On Thursday morning, Bryant announced that the former Rhode Island and Boston College head coach will be joining Tim O’Shea’s Bulldog staff as an assistant coach. O’Shea was an assistant for Skinner at both schools, working under him from 1988-2001.

“It’s a bittersweet time for us,” said O’Shea. “We are losing a coach in Mike Kelly who has been with us since the beginning of our Division I transition, and his commitment to our program is a major reason we enjoyed such success last season.”

“At the same time, it is exciting to have someone of Al Skinner’s stature joining us at Bryant.”

Skinner won National Coach of the Year in 2001.

“I’m excited to work with Tim again and to work with these great student-athletes at Bryant University,” said Skinner. “It’s exciting how much progress Bryant has already made and the success it has experienced, and I’m glad to be associated with this program.”

Next season will be Bryant’s second as a full-fledged Division I member. Last season, they went 19-12 as O’Shea orchestrated one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history.

Big name candidates for UMass Lowell head coaching job

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As UMass Lowell makes the transition to Division I, they will be doing so with a new head coach. In April, former UML coach Greg Herenda accepted the head coaching job at Fairleigh Dickinson replacing Greg Vetrone.

Herenda built the River Hawks into a strong Division II program compiling a record of 95-54 in his five seasons at the helm, including four straight tournament appearances. But, Division I is a different animal. UML is set to join the America East conference and will have to wait four years to become eligible for postseason play—similar to what Bryant University went through when making the move to the Northeast Conference.

In a report from the Lowell Sun last week, there are several big name candidates that are being targeted for the job: former big-time college coaches Al Skinner and Jim O’Brien, current Williams College coach Mike Maker—who was recently a candidate for the head coaching position at American University—and former Kentucky star and Louisville assistant Walter McCarty.

It’s hard to say if one of the candidates has emerged as a favorite, but former Rhode Island and Boston College coach Al Skinner may fit the description as outlined by UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan:

“We’re looking for folks with an outstanding track record, and with Division 1 experience. We’ve heard from coaches with experience at top-notch programs, and young and hungry assistants from Division 1 programs. I have been impressed with the caliber of coaches that we’ve received interest from.”

It is commonly known that there is little love lost between Skinner and Boston College who didn’t part ways on the friendliest of terms, but it’s hard to deny Skinner’s track record. Compiling a 247-165 record at BC cannot be discounted, nor can his seven NCAA Tournament appearances in a nine year span.

What about Jim O’Brien? Also a former Boston College coach who had much success in the mid-90s, but left for Ohio State where he took the Buckeyes to the Final Four in 1999, which they later vacated due to NCAA violations committed by O’Brien. O’Brien was eventually fired by Ohio State, but has been the head coach at Emerson College since 2011.

“Other notable names rumored to be in the mix for the UML job include current Emerson College and former Boston College and Ohio State coach Jim O’Brien, Williams College coach Mike Maker, Northeastern assistant Pat Duquette, Florida Atlantic assistant Mike Jarvis II, and former NBA veteran Walter McCarty.”

Another name to keep an eye on is current Central Connecticut assistant and former Holy Cross and College of Charleston assistant Sean Ryan. In an earlier article from the Lowell Sun, Ryan is “very interested” in the job:

According to a source, Ryan is “mustering a ton of support” among fans, alumni and others invested in the UMass Lowell men’s basketball program. The source also said that Ryan views UML as a “destination job, and a great opportunity.”

Ultimately, it comes down to the direction UML wishes to head in: a proven Division 1 head coach who’s demonstrated the capability of running a successful program, or a hot up-and-coming a coach who will bring the necessary energy to transition the program up a level.

Seeing that it’s already mid-May and UML is without a coaching staff in place with practices beginning in just over four months, expect a coach to be named in the coming weeks.

You can find Kevin on twitter @KLDoyle11

Report: Former Boston College coach Al Skinner in running for job at Brown

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Andy Katz of ESPN.com is reporting that former Boston College coach Al Skinner is in the mix as an option to fill the coaching vacancy at Brown.

Brown finished 8-23 on the season, including 2-12 in the Ivy League, and fired coach Jesse Agel on March 5. In four seasons with Brown, Agel compiled an overall record of 39-79.

Skinner has not coached since 2009-10, when BC finished 15-16 and missed the postseason.

With Boston College, he won two Big East regular-season championships and one Big East tournament title. In the process, he was a two-time Big East Coach of the Year and won National Coach of the Year in 2001.

He was fired in 2010 and took to the Boston Globe to explain his departure.

“I ran a good program, I graduated my kids. Everybody has problems, but we addressed them and handled them in a matter that satisfied every one,” he told the paper. “At the end of the day, this is a results-oriented business. I recognize that.”

For a program that has only made the NCAA tournament twice in its history, the hiring of Skinner would bring experience and a proven record of winning to Brown.

The 59-year-old Skinner is a native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., which is just over three hours from Brown’s campus in Providence. If Skinner heads to Brown, that would make for the third strong hire by Rhode Island-based schools in the past few seasons, as Ed Cooley has taken over at Providence and Dan Hurley was hired at Rhode Island this spring.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_