Marist officially introduced new men’s basketball head coach Jeff Bower in the press conference in the Student Center’s Cabaret on Monday afternoon. In addition to media, many members of the college’s administration and the Red Fox Club were present. Director of Athletics Tim Murray, who was on the same staff with Bower at Marist under Dave Magarity, introduced Bower to a standing ovation.
“We have expectations here at Marist to win championships,” Murray said, “and to do with those who were are proud to call Marist College student-athletes. I believe we found a tremendous fit in our new coach who will lead us in attaining those goals. Jeff Bower is unquestionably talented.”
Bower returns to Marist after spending 15 years with the NBA’s Hornets, where he spent time as both GM and head coach. At the press conference, Bower emphasized many points in the kind of program he wants to lead at Marist, from a winning team on the court that brings the community together to one that encourages growth in players and allows them to be noticed by potential employers. He spoke of the challenges on the court in terms of helping players fulfill their potential and challenges off the court of bringing pack community support equal to what he experienced as an assistant when Marist won conference championships in the 1980s.
“These players that we have in this program—my players, now—will be working to the fullest of their capabilities,” Bower said. “I believe in these guys. In the few days that I have had the chance to get to know them and talk to them, I have been extremely impressed with each and every one of them, as individuals.”
Bower stressed the importance of focusing on winning a championship while developing players with a hard work ethic.
“Many teams at the end of the year have winning records,” Bower said. “But what we want to do is, we want to be the winner. Teams have winning records, but there is still only one winner, and that’s the champion. That is our goal, and that will be our focus on a daily basis. That is what we are committing ourselves to invest our time and effort to.”
All returning players were in attendance at the press conference. Rising senior Adam Kemp said that he is excited about the new coach.
“He just brings a lot to the table as far as what he can offer us as a team and me individually, so it’s a really exciting opportunity,” Kemp said.
According to Kemp, workouts on the court with Bower will start this week.