Towson’s AD Waddell: “We appreciate the past, but we are excited about the future”

March 11, 2011 | John Collingsworth

After seven seasons as Towson University head men’s basketball coach, Pat Kennedy resigned from his position this past Monday. As his Tigers went 4-26 this season, and winless in the competitive Colonial Athletic Association, Kennedy joined Drew Forrester on the “Morning Reaction” Tuesday to discuss his departure from the program.

“That’s all part of the business,” Kennedy explained. “As I take a look at the group of players I inherited seven years ago and look at the group of players that will be left here for the new coach, it’s a positive. We left the university and the program actually in good shape in terms of the level of players that are here.”

The 2010-2011 season capped Kennedy’s 31st as a Division 1 head coach, with previous stints at Iona, Florida State, DePaul, and Montana. His 488 career victories rank in the Top 25 among active head coaches on the Division 1 level. Kennedy is also the winningest coach in CAA, along with his ten 20-plus win seasons, but could never eclipse the 15 game-mark while at Towson compiling a 71-144 record during his tenure.

Towson University’s Athletic Director, Mike Waddell, also joined Drew Forrester on the “Morning Reaction” Tuesday to talk about Kennedy’s resignation.

“You go into every interaction with a co-worker hoping it’s going to lead to great things and be a long term relationship and in this case, Pat was with us for seven years. [He] put his heart and soul in it and at the end of the day it just didn’t work out.”

 

With speculations looming during mid-season about a possible coaching change, Kennedy was quick to note, that never crossed his mind. “As a coach, you are concerned about how your guys are playing and what we are doing every day in practice,” he told Forrester. “Quite frankly…this is probably one of the best coached teams I have ever put on the floor… I always felt going through the entire year that we were playing very good basketball at times.”

Kennedy admitted to Forrester the one thing he would have changed as head coach at Towson. “I probably would of just brought in groups of freshman. Like three or four freshman one year, three or four the next… what we did is that we had some opportunities that we thought [would] be great [bringing in transfer student-athletes],” Kennedy said. “One thing I would recommend to the new coach is don’t try to do it too fast. Get your freshman groups in there and develop them.”

As Towson sets in his rear view mirror, Forrester asked Kennedy what his next step would be. “Coaching is definitely something I really want to do,” he explained. “The NBA down the road as an assistant with an NBA organization, maybe start on the bench or do some scouting…A lot of opportunity in the media… which has already happened. I’m going to be a national analyst for Sporting News Radio. I feel blessed to have three or four very clear avenues that I can pursue.”

 

Mike Waddell is excited and focused for the future of Towson basketball. His job now is to find a new head coach that will lead the program to the top of a very powerful CAA, which Waddell described as the “Big East of Mid-Majors.”

Forrester asked Waddell specifically, what kind of coach he wants at Towson. “I’m looking for someone that has great passion for being around young people, that can relate to young people and lead them,” the AD enthusiastically said. “Players want to play where they can have a good time, where they can be treated the right way in terms of respecting their opinions… we are looking for a leader.”

 

 

The head coaching position is wide open and Waddell was not afraid state that fact. “I would consider anybody right now. When we say we are having an open search, we are going to have an open search. Are there people on the radar screen? Absolutely there are,” he said. “The interest already… has been very impressive. Some of the names people hear ‘here and there’ have reached out. You are looking for the best fit for our program across the board.

During the fall, football dominates the Baltimore area, and baseball consumes folks during the spring and summer. In the winter however, basketball has been an after-thought for the locals, and the Towson AD has a vision for that to change. “It’s a wide open landscape in the winter time, that basketball has to be the lead sport at Towson University,” Waddell announced. “That no other team in this market, that no other school has captured the imagination of the market to make them Baltimore’s team.”

 

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