Jeff Bower, new Marist coach: 'We are going to get this done'
Jeff Bower was intrigued by the possibility of returning to Marist as the Red Foxes’ head basketball coach, but he needed some convincing before ultimately taking the job.
“When they were interviewing me, I was interviewing them,” Bower said Monday at a news conference formally introducing him as coach. “I wasn’t going to move into a situation that didn’t feel like I had a chance to be successful. I can’t tell you how much more excited I would get with each discovery, with each piece of new information I would read or I would find out or look into. That was really the snowball that was building. I think you could be successful at Marist College, obviously.
"We are going to get this done is all I can tell you," he added.
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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.
Marist is coming off a 10-21 season and finished eighth in the 10-team Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. But Bower made it clear Monday he won’t point fingers for the situation that he’s inheriting.
“There will be no references by me to this team or those recruits," he said. "This is my team. This is our team from this day forward.
“Having said that, I love it. I think it’s great. I think there’s talent. I think there are abilities. I think there are guys on this team that have the capabilities to do more than they’ve ever done.”
So what can Marist fans expect from a Jeff Bower-coached team?
“Obviously in today’s world, I’d love to be a team that people enjoy watching," he said. "Would love to play at a pace that is one that sets us up for early success in the shot clock. It’s so much easier to get quality shots earlier in the clock than late in the clock. I want a team that’s built on defense first. I want a team that’s built on hard-core rebounding and physical play. A team that’s going to push the ball, shoot the 3, establish an inside game."