A big announcement came today for Sacred Heart and Conference hoops as a whole as word came out that Dave Bike will retire as head coach after 35 years at the helm.
His replacement has apparently already been found in assistant coach Anthony Latina. A news conference is expected sometime next week.
Bike took over the Pioneers in 1978 and led them to an NCAA Division II national title in 1986. He also oversaw their move to Division I, beginning in the 1999-2000 season.
— William Paxton (@wspaxton) May 20, 2013
He had a 520-479 record as a head coach, all with the Pioneers. He only made two other stops in his collegiate coaching career, first as an assistant with the program from 1965-67, then a four-year stint as an assistant with Seattle from 1974-1976.
A Connecticut native who was an all-region selection in prep basketball, Bike was drafted into the Detroit Tigers’ farm system out of high school, catching for eight seasons with the organization. He opted to return to basketball, receiving a degree in mathematics from Sacred Heart as a member of the third graduating class in school history (showing you how deep his roots run with the school.) and served as an assistant on the basketball team for two seasons while in school.
Latina just wrapped his eighth season on Bike’s bench, is a Connecticut native who also spent time as an assistant at Central Connecticut State.
The one thing missing from Bike’s career is an NCAA [Division I] Tournament berth, falling short twice by making it to consecutive NEC Tournament title games in 2007 and 2008. But given his D-II national title and long career, I doubt it bothers him all that much.
(Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart athletics.)
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten