UMBC hires new coach for women's basketball

Stern guided S.C. school to NCAA Div. II tourney


August 08, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

UMBC announced the hiring of Phil Stern as its new women's basketball coach yesterday.

Stern, 34, becomes the program's eighth coach, replacing Jennifer Bednarek, who spent four years at UMBC before stepping down last month to become an assistant coach at Syracuse University.

Stern, an Oceanside, N.Y., native, coached the University of South Carolina-Aiken women's team the past four seasons, posting a 64-47 mark with the Division II program. Last season, the Lady Pacers went 22-6 and won their first Peach Belt Conference regular-season title since 1991 en route to the school's first NCAA Division II national tournament appearance.

Before his stay in South Carolina, Stern made his head coaching debut at Dowling College in Oakdale, N.Y., leading the program to its first two winning seasons.

"We believe that Phil is the person that we have been looking for to jump-start our team in a very positive way. He's turned two collegiate programs around, and I'm confident he will do the same thing here at UMBC," said UMBC athletic director Charles Brown.

Stern, who grew up watching Princeton's men's basketball teams under Pete Carril, has modeled his offense after that of the legendary coach.

"We'll play a very disciplined style, and we'll be well-prepared," Stern said. "I think the young ladies at UMBC will really enjoy the offense. It's grass-roots basketball and has a lot to do with reading a defense and doing the opposite of what the defense does."

The Retrievers went 45-65 in four years under Bednarek, including a 12-15 mark last season.

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