Benson: UAlbany has ‘received tremendous interest’ regarding men’s basketball coaching position

Mark Benson said Saturday the school's men's basketball coaching search is well underway. (Gazette file photo)

Mark Benson said Saturday the school's men's basketball coaching search is well underway. (Gazette file photo)

ALBANY — UAlbany athletic director Mark Benson said Saturday the school’s search for its next men’s basketball head coach has “received tremendous interest from all across the country” and that the school’s athletic department plans to start evaluating its pool of applicants this upcoming week.

“At this point, we feel like we have a good pool of candidates that we’re interested in and are interested in us,” Benson said.

UAlbany parted ways last Monday with longtime head coach Will Brown, who joined the Great Danes’ program prior to the 2001-02 season. Benson declined further comment Saturday on Brown’s departure beyond the part credited to him in the school’s official statement announcing the coach’s dismissal, in which Benson said that “we are grateful for all that Will has done for UAlbany athletics. Will’s tenure on the bench for the majority of our Division I history and his five championships have left indelible memories with our fans. We wish Will and his family all the best as they move forward from UAlbany.”

Benson said UAlbany is not using a search firm in seeking its next head coach. Someone who brings “excitement” and “positive energy” to the program that is coming off three consecutive losing seasons are valued commodities, but Benson said the department is not setting rigid requirements ahead of fully diving into the process of finding Brown’s successor.

“When we’re looking at it, it would be great if the person had coaching experience at the mid-major level, or a higher level,” Benson said. “Someone who has been at a few different places to see what works best, and bring it here. It doesn’t have to be a sitting head coach or a former head coach.”

Brown won five America East Conference championships and more than 300 games during his career at UAlbany. By the end of his tenure, Brown was making more than $400,000 in total pay, according to the the most-recent year accessible in the database at Benson said the school’s athletic department has needed to make adjustments within its budget as it moves forward, but any necessary changes have already been accounted for as UAlbany moves forward with selecting its next men’s basketball head coach.

“We’re going to leave the compensation package, generally, where it is,” Benson said. 

He said he expects the next UAlbany men’s basketball head coach to be offered a five-year contract, the maximum number of years allowed under SUNY rules.

While UAlbany has no firm timetable in regards to when it will announce a hire of its next head coach, Benson said the university plans to move relatively quickly.

“What we want to be is very thorough, but also be mindful not to take too long,” Benson said. “The way we’re sitting right now, we want to be thorough and not rush it, but also not let it go too long.”

Jon Iati, the program’s associate head coach under Brown, is currently serving as the Great Danes’ interim head coach.

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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