Friday, April 23, 2010

News and Notes: Evening Edition

Below, some news and notes...

  • WVBR's Eugene Karlik writes, "It's impossible to know how it's going to work out in the end, but my first impression of Cornell's Bill Courtney hire is very positive. Courtney seemed like he had already developed a relationship with the players, and appears to be well-positioned to both recruit and coach in the kind of style that has made Cornell basketball so successful over the past few years. Good luck to Coach Courtney."
  • The Ithaca Journal writes, "Bill Courtney was on a recruiting trip Thursday, riding one of those shuttle trains between gates the Atlanta airport is famous for, when the call came. The call, from Cornell athletics director Andy Noel, initially got cut off. When Noel called back, Courtney received the news he’d waited 15 years to hear. On Friday afternoon, he was introduced as Cornell’s 21st head coach of men’s basketball.“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I’m not one of those self-promoting guys who get jobs just to get jobs. I wanted it to be the right place, the right place for my family. I knew it would come if I kept doing what I was doing.”
  • Below is an updated A.P. article on Courtney's hire:

Virginia Tech assistant Bill Courtney was hired as Cornell's basketball coach Friday, succeeding Steve Donahue at a school that did the Ivy League proud with its NCAA tournament run.

This is the first head coaching job for Courtney, a 39-year-old well-traveled assistant who was introduced at the Ithaca, N.Y., campus.

"Bill Courtney brings an array of qualities to Cornell basketball that I am confident will lead the Big Red to continued success within the Ivy league and beyond," athletic director Andy Noel said in a statement. "His energy and enthusiasm are infectious, but his attention to the details of coaching and recruiting are what makes me confident that we have hired a winner."

Donahue took the Boston College coaching job two weeks ago after 10 seasons with the Big Red. He won three straight Ivy League titles and led Cornell to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament in March.

Cornell delivered stunning, lopsided victories over Atlantic 10 champ Temple and Big Ten power Wisconsin before losing to Kentucky, the top seed in the East Regional. Cornell finished the season with an Ivy League-record 29 victories.

Courtney starred in college at Bucknell, where he was an All-Patriot League selection and the team captain his junior and senior seasons. He said his academic background and familiarity with Cornell will serve him well.

"It helps tremendously," he said. "This is a special place. I think it's an easy sell. What was stressed (at Bucknell) in homes was academics, and we respected everyone but feared no one (on the basketball court). These guys are like that."

Courtney was with the Hokies for one season and spent eight years as an assistant at George Mason under Jim Larranaga. George Mason reached the Final Four as an 11th seed in the 2006 NCAA tournament, and Courtney was a key recruiter.

Courtney originally joined Larranaga in the 1996-1997 season as an assistant at Bowling Green. He began his college coaching career the previous season at American and also spent two months on the staff at Virginia Commonwealth, one year at Providence and three years at Virginia.

After graduating from Bucknell in 1992, Courtney played in the U.S. Basketball League and for the Milwaukee Bucks summer league team. He also played in Hong Kong for two seasons.

1 comment:

Matt said...

There's a nice symmetry to the Courtney hire. By luring him away from Virginia Tech, Cornell shakes up one second-tier team in the ACC. VT's loss is BC's gain. A little nudge to help send Steve Donahue on his way.

That's not the reason Courtney got the job. But it's a nice bonus.