POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Jeff Bower was introduced as the 10th head coach in Marist men’s basketball history on Monday. A press conference was held Monday afternoon in the Cabaret in the college’s Student Center.
Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray opened the press conference shortly after noon, which was followed by Bower speaking. Both took questions on stage from the attending media until approximately 12:40 p.m., after which one-on-one and group interviews with various media outlets took place for another hour-and-a-half.
Bower brings three decades of experience at the collegiate and NBA levels. After working as an assistant coach at Penn State from 1983-86, he spent the next nine seasons at Marist. Bower served as an assistant coach from 1986-90, and associate head coach from 1990-95. He then worked for the NBA’s Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets for the next 15 years, during which he served as general manager, head coach, director of player personnel, assistant general manager, assistant coach, director of scouting and advance scout. Most recently, Bower served as a consultant to the NBA league office and various NBA teams.
Here are quotes from the press conference:
Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray
“This was an efficient and thorough search. We were looking for the best coach and best fit for our program and school. I appreciate the strong leadership exhibited by the search committee. In just 26 days we came to a decision with this terrific hire.”
“We have made significant investments in basketball’s infrastructure; we have some of the best facilities in the MAAC and across the NCAA.”
“We have expectations to win championships; Jeff is a coach to lead us to those goals.”
“He has top-notch ability to coach and to evaluate talent. He brings credibility to our program and on the recruiting trail. Jeff understands Marist’s ideals and values.”
Marist Head Coach Jeff Bower
“The physical changes and atmosphere at Marist are examples of the excellence that the school strives to be.”
“The challenge is to build on the team’s current positives; focus on the things we can do better. I think that I can step in and help them be better; help them get to those levels and places that they seek. We aim to fulfill and maximize potential of our student-athletes and to put them in situations to be successful.”
“The challenge off the court is to reinvigorate the community. This community loves basketball; they want to be a part of basketball on those nights in November, December and through March. We have to bring back that feeling of excitement to the community.”
“We want to recruit functional talent. We’re looking for basketball skills, ability and teamwork. Together they’ll blend with our team.”
“We want student-athletes who fit the profile of a winner, who understand the academic standards of Marist and who understand the value of hard work and the importance of following through. They should be prepared to be successful.”
“We’re going to outline a plan and go over it daily with the team to stress the expectations of championships.”
“When I spoke with my friends and colleagues, both professionally and collegiately, they all say that ‘you hit a home run. That’s a great place and a great situation.’ ”