The UMass-Lowell River Hawks are making the jump to from Division 2 to Division I this coming season and are set to replace Boston University in America East. However, UML will be doing so without men's basketball coach Greg Herenda, who was hired by Fairleigh Dickinson last Friday.
As one would expect with a local job opening, some familiar faces are cropping up in the River Hawks search for its next coach. According to ESPN's Andy Katz:
"Former Boston College coach Al Skinner, his former assistant and current Northeastern assistant Pat Duquette and current Emerson head coach Jim O'Brien, who was the head coach at BC prior to Skinner, all could be in the mix for this position, according to sources. This is hardly a headline position, but everyone jumping up from Division II to I wants to make a splash."
Herenda will be a tough act to follow. The River Hawks coach went 95-54 in five seasons at UMass-Lowell, advancing the program to the Division 2 tournament in each of his first four seasons. You'd also expect the Lowell program to struggle as it makes the transition from the Northeast-10 to America East. The program won't even be eligible for postseason play until 2018. Still, have to think UMass-Lowell could do a lot worse than hire an experienced coach who knows the area.
Interesting to note that while the Boston College basketball coaching tree may not be as extensive as other major conference programs, it sure is focal in terms of geography. Should a former Eagles coach wind up getting hired at Lowell, that would make five local programs with former BC coaches. Lowell would join Boston University (Jones), Bryant (O'Shea), Northeastern (Coen) and Providence (Cooley) as local programs with former BC coaches or assistants as head coach.