Jamion Christian professes his love for Mount St. Mary's, and the love was reciprocated late last week.
The school and its men's basketball coach agreed on a multi-year contract extension, locking Christian in through the 2026-27 season.
Christian, a former Mountaineers player and team captain under legendary coach Jim Phelan, took over as coach in 2012 and instilled his "Mount Mayhem" style of play which relies on pressure defense and a penchant for 3-point shooting.
The combination has led the Mount to NCAA tournament appearances in 2014 and 2017, the Mount's first NCAA tourney win since 2008, Northeast Conference championships in 2014 and 2017, and the honor of being the only NEC team with a winning regular-season record for five straight years.
In April, Christian was named 2016-17 Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year after leading the Mountaineers to both the NEC regular-season and tournament titles. It was the first time since 1995-96 that the Mount has captured NEC regular season honors.
"I love the Mount," Christian said in a statement. "I love what we are becoming as a university. I love what we are becoming as a basketball program. We've had some success here over the past five seasons, and to take the next step we all needed to define our commitment. I want to be here for a long time because I believe that we can be as elite a program as there is in this country."
Mount St. Mary's went 20-16 last season and hosted the NEC tournament as the top seed. Christian led the Mount to a 71-61 victory over Sacred Heart in the tournament final, punching MSM's ticket into March Madness.
The Mountaineers traveled to Dayton, Ohio, site of the NCAA tournament's opening-round games, and clipped New Orleans 67-66 to advance into the field of 64. The Mount's season ended with a loss to Villanova, the top seed in the tournament.
MSM lost key players to transfer after the season in Elijah Long, Mawdo Sallah, and Miles Wilson, but Christian has a crop of newcomers in his latest recruiting class.
"The passion I feel for our program I believe has been evident from the first day that I set foot on this campus," Christian said. "I love the Mount. I love what we are becoming as a university. I love what we are becoming as a basketball program."
Ohio State junior Kyle Snyder, a Woodbine native, recently received 2017 Jesse Owens Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year honors after another stellar wrestling season with the Buckeyes.
Snyder is the fifth OSU athlete to win Male Athlete of the Year accolades. Snyder capped off his junior season with a 17-0 record and claimed his second consecutive Big Ten and NCAA titles at heavyweight.
Last August, Snyder became the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in United States history after winning gold at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. Snyder also competed overseas for Team USA at the World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Ukraine, the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia and Freestyle World Cup in Iran. The Yarygin is considered to be the most difficult open tournament in the world, and Snyder became the first American male to win gold at the event since 2009.
Former Shepherd University women's soccer goalkeeper Amy Ridgely (Westminster) is part of the Rams' latest Athletic Hall of Fame class.
Ridgely was a standout from 2000-03. She still holds school records for most saves in a game (22), season (178 in 2001), and career (538). She ranked seventh in NCAA Division II in saves in 2001 and 21st in 2002.
Ridgely later served in the Army where she was a combat veteran. She earned numerous awards, including a pair of Army Achievement Medals, an Iraqi Campaign Medal with Oak Leaf Luster, and a Global War on Terror Service Medal.
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