UMBC has narrowed its search for a men's basketball coach to eight candidates, including a name from the school's past and one from its present, as well as six others who have performed notably at the Division I, II and III levels.
The local connections are Randy Monroe and Jeff Bzdelik. Monroe, a former assistant at Vanderbilt and La Salle, was hired at UMBC shortly before the Retrievers began practicing last fall, and he made an immediate impact, helping coach Earl Hawkins guide UMBC to a 13-14 record -- its best in six years. Bzdelik, currently the chief scout for the New York Knicks and formerly a Washington Bullets assistant, was the first person to coach UMBC in Division I. From 1986 to 1988, he coached the Retrievers to a 25-31 record.
The other candidates are Scott Beeten, who has assisted Mike Jarvis for the past five years at George Washington; Jimmy Black, an assistant at Notre Dame who played point guard on North Carolina's 1982 national championship team, which included Michael Jordan; Tom Sullivan, who assisted P. J. Carlesimo from 1987 to 1994 at Seton Hall; Gary Edwards, an eight-year head coach at Charleston Southern, a UMBC rival that won its first Big South Conference title this year; Jim Boone, who in nine seasons has guided California (Pa.) to a 201-65 record, the second-highest winning percentage in Division II; and John Giannini, who has a 138-33 record in six years at Rowan (N.J.) College, where he has led the Profs to two Division III tournament Final Four appearances in the past three seasons.
UMBC athletic director Charlie Brown, who fired Hawkins last month, said he hopes to name a new coach in two weeks.
Sea Gulls take title
Salisbury State's baseball team clinched the Capital Athletic Conference regular-season championship Tuesday with a 6-5 victory over Catholic. The win, the sixth straight for the Sea Gulls (13-7, 8-2), gives them the top seed in this weekend's conference tournament, in their first season as a CAC member. More notably, 32-year coach Deane Deshon got his 500th career victory.
Deshon, whose record is 500-408-12, has guided the Sea Gulls to 19 winning seasons. Deshon's 1977 squad posted the best record (33-11) in school history, advancing to the NCAA tournament regionals. Five of his teams have made the NCAAs.
Albrecht paces Towson
For years, Anne Arundel County has produced the state's best high school softball pitchers -- something Towson State well knows. Senior Mandy Albrecht, a graduate of Glen Burnie High, won nine straight decisions to elevate the Tigers (19-10, 8-2) into contention for the Big South title.
The Tigers have been lifted by the solid offense of junior shortstop and Dulaney High grad Courtney McClelland (.326, 25 RBI) and senior catcher Lori DiMaggio (.366, 18 RBI), but Albrecht has been their catalyst. She is 9-2 with a 0.61 ERA.
Notre Dame's youth movement
With a midseason record of 6-3, Notre Dame's women's lacrosse team is enjoying a fine season. The Gators also appear to have a great future. They have scored 107 goals, and all but three have come from either freshmen or sophomores.
Notre Dame's sophomore duo of Tinah Houck (Westminster High) and Carly Goertz (Hereford) has 61 goals and 32 assists. Houck set a school record for most goals (eight) and points (22) in a game in a 22-9 rout of Guilford College.
Houck and Goertz have received excellent offensive support from teammates such as sophomores Lisa Gielner (Overlea) and Rachel Barnes (Sparrows Point). Gielner has scored 10 goals, while Barnes has added nine goals and seven assists. Freshman Holly Gentempo has produced 19 goals and five assists.
Gophers' fast start
What a year it has been for Goucher coach Andrea Bailey.
Last fall, her field hockey team finished 15-4-1, earned its first CAC championship and became the first Goucher team to qualify for an NCAA Division III tournament. This spring, Bailey's lacrosse team is off to an impressive 3-1 start. The Gophers have beaten Virginia Tech and St. Joseph's (Pa.), both Division I teams.
Freshman attacker Kristin Carey (Towson) leads Goucher with 15 goals. Junior Courtney Crangi, who scored 46 goals as a freshman before missing last season with an injured knee, has come back to record 13 goals and six assists.