UMBC men’s basketball director of recruiting and program development Griff Aldrich was named the head coach at Longwood on Thursday, the first member of the Retrievers’ coaching staff to leave Catonsville after the team’s NCAA tournament surprise.
Aldrich, who played with UMBC head coach Ryan Odom at Division III Hampden-Sydney, joined the Retrievers as director of basketball operations last season. In his two years at the school, UMBC won 46 games, including a program-record 25 this season.
Aldrich replaces Jayson Gee, who resigned March 2 after five seasons in Farmville, Va., at the helm of the Big South school.
“From the start of this process, Griff established himself as a unique candidate who will be an outstanding fit for our community, for our program and for Longwood's citizen-leadership mission,” Longwood athletic director Troy Austin said in a release.
After graduating from Hampden-Sydney in 1996 with Odom, Aldrich earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. He then rejoined his former college coach, Tony Shaver (now at William & Mary), for a year on Hampden-Sydney’s staff. Aldrich next became a partner at an international law firm, established an oil and gas company in Texas, and became managing director and chief financial officer of a private investment firm.
Over those 16 years away from the college sideline, he kept in touch with basketball, coaching several Amateur Athletic Union teams and founding a faith-based basketball program for at-risk youth in Houston's Third Ward.
"Longwood University hit it out of the park with the hiring of Griff Aldrich," Odom said in a release. "Griff was a vital part of our historic run this season at UMBC. Longwood is getting a man of integrity, a tremendous mentor for its players, a sharp basketball mind who is driven and competitive, and a guy who wins in every aspect of life."