2013 Coaching Carousel

Central Arkansas’ Corliss Williamson steps down to join Sacramento Kings staff

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The college basketball head coaching carousel hasn’t stopped, apparently.

In news that comes as a bit surprising based upon how close schools are to the start of the fall semester, Central Arkansas announced that head coach Corliss Williamson has resigned to join Sacramento Kings head coach Mike Malone’s staff as an assistant.

During his three seasons at Central Arkansas, Williamson posted a record of 26-62. But it should be noted that after winning a total of 13 games in his first two seasons at the helm, Williamson’s Bears went 13-17 last season and earned the program’s first-ever Southland Conference tournament berth.

To follow along with the 2013 Coaching Carousel, click here.

“Coach Williamson’s three years at UCA were very good,” Central Arkansas athletic director Dr. Brad Teague said in the release announcing Williamson’s move. “His hard work is now showing in the level of talent and character his student-athletes bring to our program. We appreciate all he has done for UCA basketball to lay a foundation for future success.

“The Sacramento Kings will now have a valuable coaching asset for their team and community. I know Corliss will contribute greatly to their success and we wish him well.”

Williamson, who spent part of his professional career with the Kings, joins former Ohio State assistant Chris Jent as college coaches who have joined Malone’s staff this offseason. And according to Williamson, it took a special opportunity for him to leave his post at Central Arkansas.

“I honestly couldn’t see myself leaving for any situation other than an opportunity to go back to Sacramento,” Williamson said in the release. “It’s a place where I cut my teeth as a rookie in the NBA, spent over half of my career there. It’s an area that reminds me a lot of Arkansas, with the people, the fans they have there.

“It’s just a great opportunity that I have now to return there and be able to coach at the highest level.”

Central Arkansas, which announced that associate head coach Clarence Finley would be promoted to interim head coach, welcomes back senior guard LaQuentin Miles (15.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) but has to account for the graduation of forward Jarvis Garner (15.9, 7.0) and guard Robert Crawford (14.8, 4.1).

After Miles Central Arkansas’ leading returning scorer from last season is guard DeShone McClure, who averaged 5.9 points per game last season.

Report: Stetson to hire Florida State assistant Corey Williams

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Just one head coaching vacancy remains at the Division I level, and that position may be filled in short order.

According to Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com Stetson is expected to hire Florida State assistant Corey Williams as the school’s new head coach. Williams, who has spent the last six years on Leonard Hamilton’s staff in Tallahassee, was an assistant at Oral Roberts for seven seasons before joining Hamilton’s staff.

Stetson has scheduled a press conference for 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon to announce the hiring of a new head coach.

If Williams is the pick he replaces Casey Alexander, who stepped down last month after two years at Stetson. In two seasons at Stetson, Alexander went 24-36 (17-19 Atlantic Sun) with Adam Pegg and Chris Perez earning all-conference honors in 2012-13.

With Pegg (15.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) out of eligibility and Perez (15.1, 4.1) transferring the Hatters have to replace their top three scorers from a season ago, with guard Joel Naburgs (10.1, 4.3, 3.9 apg) being the other key departure.

Stetson does have four players signed to a National Letter of Intent, and they’ll join a group led by guard Aaron Graham (11.2, 3.6) and forward Willie Green (8.3, 6.6). Green started all 31 games for the Hatters last season, leading the team in rebounding, while Graham was one of the better sixth men in the Atlantic Sun.

“I am determined to move quickly to find a coach who will be dedicated to returning Stetson men’s basketball to its proper place,” Stetson AD Jeff Altier said at the time of Alexander’s departure.

“We will move aggressively to find a new coach who will lead our program with character and passion, as well as a commitment to this fine university and its student-athletes.”

Williams has plenty of experience at the collegiate level as an assistant, and he also won an NBA title as a player with the Chicago Bulls in 1993. Williams, who played two of his four seasons at Oklahoma State for Hamilton, was quite the athlete as he was drafted by both the Bulls and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The hope for Stetson is that Williams’ work at Florida State as a recruiter and a tutor of guards will help turn the Hatters into a consistent contender in the A-Sun.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Sacred Heart head coach Dave Bike officially passes torch to Anthony Latina

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In 35 seasons as head coach at Sacred Heart University, Dave Bike racked up a list of accomplishments that any coach would be proud to claim. More than 500 victories, a Division II national title in 1986 and a transition to the Division I level that was completed in 1999.

The Pioneers may not have been able to get over the NCAA tournament hump under Bike’s watch at the Division I level, leading the Pioneers to two NEC tournament title game appearances, but that will not overshadow Bike’s overall body of work.

At the end of the 2012-13 season Bike decided that it was time to hang up his whistle, and on Thursday afternoon Sacred Heart officially announced Bike’s retirement and the hiring of Anthony Latina as his replacement.

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While this was an emotional day for all involved with Sacred Heart athletics, it was also one in which many gave thanks to Bike for his impact on the school.

“No one would debate that Dave Bike is the face of the institution in the athletic sense,” said Sacred Heart Executive Director of Athletics C. Donald Cook. “He’s been the pillar and standard for the intercollegiate athletics program since 1978 when he assumed the role of men’s basketball coach.

“While he’s accomplished much on the basketball court, and has garnered more honors and awards than he can count, his legacy is not just about sport. It’s been about the impact he has had on the lives of hundreds of young men who had the privilege of playing for him. Dave’s unconditional love for his players, and commitment to helping them become responsible adults, is his real legacy.”

With Bike moving into a part-time role in the school’s finance department, the question now is how quickly Latina can get the Pioneers headed in the right direction. Sacred Heart finished the 2012-13 season on a seven-game losing streak, missing out on postseason play for the third time in the last four seasons.

And with leading scorer Shane Gibson (21.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg) out of eligibility, Latina will need to rely on Luis Montes (14.4, 6.2) and Steve Glowiak (10.4, 3.0) in his first season as a head coach after stints as an assistant at Central Connecticut State and UMass-Lowell.

“I am very excited and appreciative for this opportunity. I know what a special place Sacred Heart University is and I hope that our program will represent this great university in the manner in which it deserves,” Latina said during the press conference.

“We will do everything possible to ensure our student-athletes have a first-class experience and reach their potential both on and off the court.”

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Report: Dave Bike will retire after 35 years at Sacred Heart

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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.

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

Report: American to hire Georgetown assistant Mike Brennan

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American will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. to announce the hiring of current Georgetown assistant Mike Brennan, according to multiple reports.

Brennan was an assistant with American prior to joining the Georgetown staff in 2009. Before that, he had spent seven seasons as an assistant at Princeton, where he played his college ball.

Brennan will be replacing Jeff Jones, who left for Old Dominion after 13 years as the head coach at American.

To follow along with the 2013 Coaching Carousel, click here.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Report: UNC Asheville to promote associate head coach Nick McDevitt

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According to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, UNC Asheville will introduce associate head coach Nick McDevitt as the program’s new head coach Friday afternoon.

McDevitt took over as interim head coach after Eddie Biedenbach stepped down to join Buzz Peterson’s staff at UNC Wilmington.

In 17 seasons at UNC Asheville Biedenbach won a school-record 266 games and led the Bulldogs to three NCAA tournament appearances, with the most recent coming in 2012.

McDevitt was an assistant on Biedenbach’s staff for 12 seasons before being promoted to interim head coach, playing an integral role in the Bulldogs’ recent run of success.

“Nick has done an outstanding job as an assistant coach,” stated Biedenbach in McDevitt’s bio before the start of the 2012-13 season. “He is a big reason for the success. He has a good rapport with our players. Nick really knows the game well and is a key part of our program. He works hard in every facet of the program, and I’m so happy he’s on our staff.”

Last season the Bulldogs finished with a 16-16 record, going 10-6 in Big South play before being upset by Longwood in the first round of the Big South conference tournament.

Leading scorer and rebounder Jeremy Atkinson (17.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg) will graduate but guards Keith Hornsby (15.0 ppg, 3.1 apg) and Trent Meyer (9.7 ppg, 3.9 apg), forward Will Weeks (9.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and center D.J. Cunningham (7.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg) all return next season.

The amount of talent returning will help the Bulldogs account for the loss of Atkinson, making UNC Asheville a contender in the Big South.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.