UMBC set to name coach

April 14, 1995|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

UMBC will introduce former Seton Hall assistant Tom Sullivan as its new men's basketball coach today.

Sullivan will replace Earl Hawkins, who was fired last month after the team's sixth straight losing season and winding up a seven-year run at UMBC with a 77-119 record.

Sullivan, 44, was the top assistant to P. J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall from 1987 to 1994, when the Pirates enjoyed the highest points in the history of their program.

During Sullivan's first year, Seton Hall made its first appearance in the NCAA tournament. The next year, the Pirates advanced to the national championship game, which they lost to Michigan in overtime.

In all, Seton Hall went to the NCAA tournament six times during Sullivan's seven years there. Under Carlesimo, who now coaches the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, Sullivan recruited current NBA players Terry Dehere and Anthony Avent.

He was a finalist for the Seton Hall job that went to George Blaney, formerly of Holy Cross.

Before coming to Seton Hall, Sullivan was the head coach and athletic director at New Hampshire College, a Division II school that he guided to a 152-99 record from 1976 to 1985.

Sullivan graduated in 1972 from Fordham, where he played center and, as a senior, won the Haggerty Award as the New York area's outstanding player.

He was drafted by the Knicks in 1972, and went on to play for three years in Italy and Switzerland.

Sullivan, who could not be reached last night, will try to revive a UMBC program that has had little success since moving to Division I in 1986 under coach Jeff Bzdelik, one of the eight finalists for this job.

Bzdelik led UMBC to a 25-31 record in two years, then left to become an assistant coach for the Washington Bullets.

Hawkins was hired in 1988, and guided the Retrievers to a 17-11 record, marking the school's last winning season.

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