Towson brings back Meil

Assistant coach at Wagner was Tigers' top recruiter in '80s, '90s

College basketball

July 11, 2006|By CHRISTIAN EWELL | CHRISTIAN EWELL,SUN REPORTER

The title of Towson University men's basketball assistant coach isn't exactly what Baltimore-area native Jim Meil hoped for in his return to town.

Towson has hired three head coaches during the past nine years. Each time, Meil has expressed interest in the job. He was a finalist in 1997 after 15 years as a Tigers assistant. That doesn't make him any less enthusiastic about his return as an assistant to Pat Kennedy.

"Life goes on, and we learn from the past," said Meil, 46, whose appointment as an assistant was announced by the school yesterday. "If a head coaching job is meant to be, it will happen. If not, we take these things in stride."

Meil, a McDonogh graduate, was scouting high school players in New Jersey last weekend and is scheduled to look at more in West Virginia this weekend.

An assistant at Wagner since 1999, Meil replaces Rob Norris, who left Towson to take an assistant's job at Canisius.

"He was the first guy on my list, so I was excited to see that he was interested," said Kennedy, who pointed to Eric Skeeters as another homegrown assistant on staff. "Locally, with Jim and Eric Skeeters, it's a powerful one-two punch. I just hope I can keep them around."

Meil, as the program's top recruiter, had a hand in the Tigers' greatest on-court achievements under former coach Terry Truax, from 1982 to 1997. The school had two NCAA tournament appearances and three East Coast Conference titles.

"When I was here, we had a lot of success and we were able to get a lot of players locally and in the state of Maryland," said Meil, who added that he was attracted back to Towson because of Kennedy, the school's growth and its membership in the Colonial Athletic Association. "It made it exciting for me to come back, and selling Towson has always been an easy part of the job."

christian.ewell@baltsun.com

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