Jeff Bower, former Hornets coach, picked to lead Marist basketball program

New Marist basketball coach Jeff Bower is a

New Marist basketball coach Jeff Bower is a former general manager and head coach of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets. (Dec. 18, 2009) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Marist College has hired former Hornets coach and general manager Jeff Bower as the Red Foxes' new men's basketball coach.

Bower will be formally introduced at a news conference Monday in Poughkeepsie.

Bower, 51, was an assistant coach at Marist from 1986 to 1995 before moving on to the NBA. In his 15 years with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, he served as general manager, head coach, director of player personnel, assistant general manager, assistant coach, director of scouting and advance scout.

Most recently, he worked as a consultant to the NBA's league office and various NBA teams.

"I'm excited to join the Marist community and have high hopes and expectations for our basketball program," Bower said in a news release issued by the college. "My family and I hope to make positive contributions to the Marist and Poughkeepsie communities.

"The facilities are first-class and provide our student-athletes with an environment to pursue excellence," Bower said. "Our job will be to maximize the resources available through smart, efficient and relentless work habits that can be translated to success on the basketball court, in daily practices and academic pursuits."

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Bower replaces Chuck Martin, who was fired last month after coaching the Red Foxes for five seasons. Marist was 10-21 this past season and finished eighth in the 10-team Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Bower served as head coach of the Hornets during the 2009-10 season, when New Orleans went 34-39. As general manager, he assembled the Hornets' 2007-08 squad -- led by point guard Chris Paul -- that set a franchise record with 56 regular-season wins and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.

"I am confident in his ability to evaluate talent and character given his breadth of experience at the collegiate and NBA levels," Marist athletic director Tim Murray said in a statement. "Jeff understands Marist's values and the high academic standards that are expected of our student-athletes. Our goal is to win MAAC championships, and we feel that Jeff has both the leadership and management skills to reach this standard."

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