Navy adds former Princeton assistant Saunders to hoops staff

June 07, 2012 | WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy men’s basketball head coach Ed DeChellis  has announced that Kendrick Saunders will join the Navy coaching staff, replacing Jason Crafton, who took the head coaching job at Division II Nyack College last month. Saunders comes to Navy after spending the last two years on the staff at Princeton.

“Kendrick is an outstanding coach who possesses the ambition, work ethic and values that are important to be successful,” said Navy second-year head coach Ed DeChellis. “He will be very instrumental in recruiting quality student-athletes here at Navy. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in recruiting and coaching at a service academy and we are excited to have him on our staff.”

“I am excited to become part of the United States Naval Academy and its basketball program. Navy is a special place and one of the great institutions in America,” said Saunders. “I am very familiar with the standards and mission and have an understanding of the special people and students that make up the Naval Academy family. Being from Maryland, I am excited to be back and have an understanding of the prestige of the Naval Academy.”

Saunders was the director of basketball operations at Princeton the last two seasons, helping the Tigers to the 2011 Ivy League Championship and NCAA Tournament berth, where Princeton would lose in the second round to eventual Final Four participant Kentucky, 57-53. During the 2011-12 season, Princeton finished with a 20-12 record, reached the CBI Tournament quarterfinals and finished third in the Ivy League with a 10-4 league mark.

Prior to his arrival at Princeton, Saunders served as an assistant coach at Army from the 2006-10 seasons, spending five years under Army head coach Jim Crews.

Saunders arrived at West Point following a two-year stint at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md., where he was a member of Webb Hatch’s staff. During his last year at Frostburg State, the Bobcats compiled a 14-12 mark. Prior to his tenure at Frostburg, Saunders spent four years as the top assistant at Hunter College in New York City, where he coordinated the team’s recruiting efforts, monitored players’ academic progress and managed the preseason conditioning program.

A 1998 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic College in West Palm Beach, Fla., Saunders earned a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in physical education. He played point guard and served as the team captain during his senior season. Saunders embarked upon his coaching career immediately upon graduation, serving a one-year stint as an assistant basketball coach at his scholastic alma mater, Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md., before moving on to Hunter College.

Saunders, an assistant coach for the Gotham City Knights of the National Rookie League during the summer of 2000, has also been a counselor at a host of summer camps, including the heralded Five-Star Camp.

Saunders and his wife Janice have two sons, Alexavier (5) and Hezekiah (3).

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