Whittenburg Not a Wagner Candidate ; Coaching Carousel Still Spinning; Rider Lands Guard | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Thursday / August 11.
  • Whittenburg Not a Wagner Candidate ; Coaching Carousel Still Spinning; Rider Lands Guard

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    Wagner athletic director Walt Hameline said the school is in the process of taking resumes for the men’s basketball coaching vacancy created by Monday’s firing of Mike Deane and that he hoped to have a decision made “toward the end of the month.”

    “We’re taking resumes,” Hameline said Wednesday morning by phone. “Obviously, we’ll see who’s applying and then there will be a committee put together on campus. Hopefully by the end of the month we’ll get people on campus.”

    Asked when he hoped to make a decision, Hameline said, “I’m looking somewhere toward the end of the month.”

    The Staten Island school has received nearly 50 applications, but has not gotten one from former coach Dereck Whittenburg, who was fired at Fordham Dec. 3.

    Whittenburg would consider the Wagner job if offered, a source with direct knowledge said.

    This contradicts my earlier post where I wrote that Whittenburg would return to his former school. (Sometimes you make mistakes and you’ve got to own up,)

    Whittenburg, 49, is currently doing some TV work for Comcast and is exploring his options for the future.

    His career record is 135-162, including a 66-50 mark during four seasons at Wagner.

    Meantime, Fordham interim coach Jared Grasso, who replaced Whittenburg, ends his season on Friday and expects to remain as the head coach next season.

    “Once the season ends, the school’s search will commence,” a source close to the situation said. “They’ll decide if there will be other interviews given.”

    Grasso has gotten four commitments since getting the interim job: senior guards Danny Lawhorn, Jayon James and Sean Armand and sophomore forward Amadou Sidibe.

    Wagner and Fordham aren’t the only schools with uncertain futures.

    While Monmouth has said Dave Calloway will return next season, the coaching situations at Rutgers, St. John’s and FDU also remain unclear.

    Sources said the FDU players had recently gone to bat with the administration  on behalf of interim coach Greg Vetrone. Tom Barrise, an FDU grad who coached the Nets briefly this year, has also been interviewed.

    “While I cannot comment on personnel matters as per our University policy, I can say that we are fully committed to bringing in the coach that is the best fit for our institution, department and men’s basketball program,” FDU athletic director David Langford said in an email. “This search must be done thoroughly as well as in a timely manner as not to put our men’s basketball program at a disadvantage heading into next season.”

    Speaking generally about coaching openings in the area, one coach said: “The magical guy ain’t out there. Bob Knight and John Wooden ain’t out there.”

    The coach added that schools now have a tendency to  retread old established coaches instead of taking a chance on younger or less experienced guys with an upside.

    “They don’t take a chance on new guys,” the coach said. “You gotta go buy another coach from somewhere else. If he makes $2 million, let’s offer him $2.5.”


    Anthony Myles, a 6-4 guard from Polytech High School in Dover, Del., has verbally committed to Rider.

    Myles played with Delaware Team Takeover in the summer and is the No. 1 ranked senior in the state of Delaware and was a 1st-[team All-State selection last year.  He’s currently averaging 21.9 points.  Polytech is the 7th seed in the Delaware state playoffs.

    (Photo courtesy Fordham Athletics)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.