Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Grant Replaces Fang As Coppin State Basketball Coach

New Coppin State mens basketball coach Michael Grant (center) is introduced. (Photo by Coppin State Sports Information)

Michael Grant is no stranger to replacing legends.

In 2003, he took over the Southern basketball program after Ben Jobe retired.  And now he will be the head basketball coach at Coppin State where Ronald "Fang" Mitchell wasn't brought back for a 29th season.

“This was another opportunity for me to build a program,” Grant said, according to the school's athletic department web site. “I am excited to be here and looking forward to playing an exciting brand of basketball."

Grant takes over from Mitchell who in 28 years won 429 games and made Coppin State a feared team to play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The 1990s were their heyday when they won nine of ten MEAC tournaments and made three NCAA tournament fields.  But the last ten years have been anything but successful as the Eagles have finished below .500 in nine of the past ten season. Their last NCAA tourney appearance was in 2008 and they finished 12-20 this season. 

Mitchell's contract wasn't renewed for another year.

Grant comes from Stillman in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference where he has had a 100-73 record in six seasons.  He was 25-31 from 2003 to 2005 with Southern.

“We believe he’s the best fit for our program,” said Coppin State athletic director Derrick Ramsey. “He has experience replacing a legendary coach, which is important. We’re excited to have coach Grant join the Coppin State family.”

 Grant said Eagles fans should get used to a team that will run and score.

"There will be nobody in this conference that will be able to play the way I play," he said. "

We’re going to get up and down the floor. We’re going to run and press. Every team that I’ve coached over the last 15 years, we’ve led the conference in scoring. Our goals are to make sure we’re scoring over 80 points per game and leading the conference in rebounding and steals.”

Bowie State Athletic Director Leaves for Same Position at Hartford


Bowie State is looking for a new athletic director after Anton Goff resigned to take the same position with the University of Hartford.

Goff had led the Bowie State athletic department since 2010.

“I thank the Bulldog Nation and the entire Bowie State University community for the support that not only I received, but the athletics department received in general from day one,” said Goff, according a story on the school's athletic web site. “The experience I had at Bowie State was incredible, we’ve done a lot of things together and I truly believe the program is heading in the right direction. I believe the next AD has a great base to start with.”

Bowie State president Mickey L. Bumim didn't immediately indicate the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association's school's plans to find another athletic director.

“Anton Goff has done a tremendous job as our university’s athletic director and his departure will be a great loss,” Bowie State President Mickey L. Bumim said in the news release. ““We share in his excitement about the new opportunity and wish him well.”

Alabama State Baseball Rides Strong Season, And a Win Over Powerful Miami, Into SWAC Tourney

(Photo from SWAC.org)
Next week when the Southwestern Athletic Conference sees its first pitch in the conference baseball tournament, there will no question about who the top-seeded team will be.

How Alabama State got there is the story though.

The Hornets have blazed through the 2014 season 21-3 in the SWAC and 34-19 overall, giving the most wins in a season in program history. One of those non-conference victories was a huge stunner on May 4 over perennial national power, then fourth-ranked Miami.

"Every win is a building block to where we want to be," said Head Coach Mervyl Melendez after the Miami win.  "We have to continue to work hard and continue to get better."

The Hornets do it with solid hitting and pitching.  They lead the SWAC in hitting, ,RBIs, hits, runs, homers, fielding, are second ERA (4.15). 

Waldyvan Estrada, a junior outfielder, leads the team with a .346 batting average and is one of the SWAC leaders in hits and RBIs.  Junior infielders Einar Muniz and Emmanuel Marrero are also two of the of the conference's best hitters.  Pitcher Joseph Camacho nine wins and 2.36 ERA leads a solid pitching staff.

It's a Hornets squad that doesn't hit a lot of home runs, but they sting opponents with steady hitting and strong pitching.

That means a tough match-up for SWAC foes in the baseball tourney, set for May 14-18 in New Orleans. 

"We accomplished what we wanted to, which was the number one seed (in the SWAC's Eastern Division)," said Melendez. "We didn't set a mark in victories, conference or overall. We set out to get the number one seed. We were able to accomplish that. We have to go into that (SWAC Tournament beginning May 14) and play hard, and we have to play our game."