College Basketball

Coppin State narrows men's basketball coaching search to five finalists

Coppin State has narrowed its search for a new men's basketball coach to five candidates who are scheduled to interview on campus next week, including current Maryland assistant Bino Ranson.

The school says it will introduce its next coach at a news conference on May 5. He will replace Ron "Fang" Mitchell, who was the Eagles' coach for 28 years before not having his contract renewed after this season.


Here's a look at the five candidates, per Coppin State's news release:

Orlando "Bino" Ranson: A current assistant at the University of Maryland, Ranson has strong ties to the Baltimore-Washington area, having coached for two seasons at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. He has played a major role in helping Maryland sign back-to-back top-25 recruiting classes in 2012 and 2013. Ranson led the recruitment of current Terps Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare.


Larry Stewart: Currently in his fifth season with Bowie State and his third as Associate Head Coach. A standout player at Coppin State from 1988-1991, Stewart led the Eagles to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990 and first ever National Invitational Tournament in 1991. He was a two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year and named Black College Player of the Year in 1991, also winning the John B. Wooden Award. Stewart ranks third all-time at Coppin State in scoring (1,824) and first in rebounds (1,052). He played in the NBA for seven seasons (1991-1997) with the Washington Bullets and Seattle Supersonics.

Eric Skeeters: A current assistant coach at George Mason and Coppin State alum, Skeeters joined the Patriots following four seasons at the University of South Florida. As a member of the Bulls' staff from 2009-13, Skeeters helped lead the BIG EAST squad to its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years. It came in 2012, when the Bulls defeated California and Temple before falling to Ohio in the round of 32.

Clifford Reed: A veteran with over 20 years of basketball coaching experience, Reed is the current assistant coach at Savannah State. Reed was the head coach at Bethune-Cookman from 2002-11, where he led Bethune-Cookman to its first MEAC regular season title in school history and a trip to the NIT in 2011. He has also served as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern and Bethune-Cookman. Reed was named MEAC and NABC District 15 Coach of the Year in 2011 and College Insider Coach of the Year in 2006.

Michael Grant: Currently he's the head coach at Division II Stillman College in Alabama where he guided the Lions to a 17-12 record this season and the quarterfinals of the SIAC tournament. During the 2010-11 season, he guided the team to a 24-8 overall mark, a 19-5 conference record, second place in the SIAC and to the regional final of the Division II South Regional. In addition to serving as a head coach at Southern and Central State, Grant has also coached at Kentucky State University, Alleghany College, Cleveland State University, and the University of Toledo as an assistant.