GW Introduces New Head Coach Lonergan
Assistant Sports Director
WASHINGTON- George Washington University introduced Mike Lonergan as its new men’s head basketball coach at the Smith Center Monday.
“I really feel blessed to have this opportunity,” Lonergan said. “We have a great nucleus of young players returning, who have experience and support staff here, so I’m really looking forward to helping them.”
Lonergan played at the Catholic University of America from 1984-1988 before becoming the Cardinals’ head coach in 1992. He amassed a 251-88 record over 12 seasons at Catholic, including winning the NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship in 2001. After working as an assistant at the University of Maryland for the 2004-2005 season, he became the head coach at the University of Vermont, where his teams went 126-68 over six seasons, including one NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010.
Lonergan replaces former coach Karl Hobbs, who was the GW men’s basketball coach for the previous 10 seasons. Hobbs was let go by the University on April 25th.
Lonergan, who grew up in Bowie, Md. and has spent the vast majority of his life in the Beltway area, said that part of his excitement of becoming coach at GW is to coach where he once watched several games as a kid. He voiced the desire to recruit close to home as well. Lonergan also asked fans and students alike to support the program and fill the Smith Center again.
After a brief presentation in which the Colonial Army, GW’s official student fan group of GW athletics, presented Lonergan and his family with fan gear, a question and answer session was held. Among the concerns of the audience was the status of GW’s incoming recruiting class of Erik Copes, Jonathan Davis and Trey Davis.
“I reached out to all of the current recruits and am in the process of talking to them now and we hope they all come to GW,” Lonergan said. “This is a great place to be and we hope they all remain committed to GW.”
George Washington University President Steven Knapp cited Lonergan’s success on the court, as well as his players’ success academically as reasons why he was hired. “He has a winning record everywhere he’s coached and a 100 percent graduation rate every place he has served as head coach,” Knapp said. “I was really impressed by his integrity and his commitment to the student-athletes he leads.”
Newly appointed Athletic Director Patrick Nero said that with the addition of Lonergan as head coach, GW fans can look forward to exciting games in the future. “We want to build a national program here at GW,” Nero said. “Mike’s record shows that he’s played a very attractive schedule, so from GW’s standpoint, we plan on playing a very aggressive, attractive schedule.”
GW is expected to return 11 players from last year’s roster including four starters, as well as guard Lasan Kromah, who missed the 2010-2011 campaign with a foot injury.
Sports Director Nkwa Asonye also contributed to this report.