ALBANY — Dwayne Killings is still gaining his footing as UAlbany men’s basketball head coach, a job he’s held for a little more than two weeks.
So he made it a point this week to pay a visit to the person who could probably provide better advice than anyone on the role Killings took control of in mid-March.
That’s Richard “Doc” Sauers, who coached men’s basketball at the school for more than 40 years and won 702 games before leaving his post in 1997. Sauers turns 91 years old Saturday, a day before Killings turns 40 on Sunday, and the two met on campus Tuesday after exchanging a couple phone calls prior to that. The two men met again Thursday, when Killings helped deliver an early birthday cake to Sauers along with UAlbany athletic director Mark Benson and others from the department.
“He had such an unbelievable career, and I wanted to pull from that — and he was so kind,” Killings said of Sauers earlier this week. “He’s a great man, so I was excited to meet him and sit down with him.”
Sauers still has an office on campus, and the two men met there. Killings was impressed with how much Sauers was keeping up with the Great Danes’ recruiting, and Sauers said he enjoyed the visit with the program’s new leader.
“He’s very nice — a very low-key guy,” Sauers said Friday. “He’s a good man and he has good ideas.”
While UAlbany’s roster remains an uncertain one, with a majority of the team’s 2020-21 scholarship players in the NCAA transfer portal, Killings has been leading the Great Danes in workouts. The plan is to have Sauers come to one of those sessions soon.
“He wants me to speak to his team some time after practice, so we’ll set up a date to do that, too,” said Sauers, whose decades-long coaching run at the school also included time coaching baseball and golf.