RIC Hires New Men’s Basketball Coach to Replace Walsh
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
“We had 104 candidates, and I’d say 60-70 percent of them were qualified candidates,” RIC Athletic Director Donald Tencher said. “I think all of our finalists were skilled. All of them were good coaches. Coach Byrnes just stood out for us the whole time.”
Byrnes spent the past 4 seasons on the staff at Robert Morris, but spent the previous 14 as the head coach at Winchendon School in Massachusetts.
In 16 seasons in the New England prep ranks, Byrnes won over 400 games and coached several NBA players. Byrnes coached Providence College star and NCAA career steals leader John Linehan in the prep ranks in the mid-1990s.
“He had recruited New England a lot, and had a lot of experience, a lot of contacts in the Northeast,” Tencher said. “As we expand into becoming a regional program that’s something we liked. Recruiting is the name of the game.”
Tencher added that RIC had 10 candidates in for interviews and 3 finalists that were interviewed by Dr. Nancy Carriuolo, President of the College.
Former Coach Walsh Approves
“Mike is a great fit,” said departing RIC coach Bob Walsh. “He’s a terrific coach with a low maintenance approach and great communication and team-building skills.”
Walsh set a precedent for success on and off the court in his 9 seasons at the helm of the Anchormen. He accepted the head coaching position at Division 1 Maine this offseason, but Walsh told GoLocalProv his former players are in good hands with Byrnes at RIC.
“He genuinely cares about the individuals he is coaching and the players will respond well to his direct, honest approach,” Walsh said. “I am thrilled that my former players will get the chance to play for Coach Byrnes.”
Tencher and Walsh still keep in touch and Tencher told GolocalProv that Walsh’s input was important in continuing the tradition he started at RIC.
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