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Date Posted: 11:44:20 07/08/05 Fri
Author: Beagle
Subject: Dempsey named interm head coach

July 7, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Men's College Basketball
Rider Names Dempsey Interim Head Basketball Coach

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ-Tommy Dempsey has been named the Interim Head Coach of the Rider University men's basketball team, Director of Athletics Curt Blake announced today.

Dempsey will serve in this capacity for the 2005-2006 season, while Don Harnum, the Rider head coach since 1997-98, serves as Interim Director of Athletics, effective September 1, 2005.

A national search for a new Director of Athletics will begin this summer with the expectation that the position will be filled before the end of the 2005-06 academic year.

"I have every confidence in Tommy and I know that he'll do an outstanding job as the interim head coach," said Blake, who in June announced he was retiring after 14 years as Rider's Director of Athletics, effective August 31. "The Rider basketball program will continue to prosper under his leadership during this important transition."

"To say that I am excited to be the interim head basketball coach at Rider would be an understatement," said Dempsey, who as a head coach has taken two different institutions to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Final Four. "This is a program that is really moving in a positive direction right now and to have the opportunity to coach this team for the 2005-2006 season is a great honor for me."

Dempsey has never lost a home game (46-0) as a head coach, and that streak continued as the Rider assistant coaches took over the team while trailing MAAC Champion Manhattan by the score of 11-2 and won in overtime at the Sovereign Bank Arena during the 2003-04 season.

"Tommy Dempsey has an outstanding track record of success as a head coach and has been invaluable during his tenure as an assistant coach," said Harnum. "I have tremendous confidence that the proud tradition of Rider basketball will continue to grow under his leadership and with the talent and support of our assistant coaches, Fred Dupree and Dane Fischer."

In three years as head coach on the junior college level, Dempsey compiled an 88-12 record and was twice a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors.

At Lackawanna, Dempsey reached the Division II National Title Game in 2003, and was the Region 19 and District 9 Coach of the Year. Although not in the preseason top 40, Lackawanna completed the season as National Runner-up with a school-record 33 wins.

In 2001 and 2002, Dempsey was the Region 19 and District 6 Coach of the Year at Keystone College. He took over an 8-18 team and went 55-8 over the next two seasons. He guided Keystone to the 2002 Division III Final Four with a school-record 29 wins. He also reached the NJCAA Division III National Tournament in 2001 and earned Eastern Pennsylvania College Coach of the Year honors.

Dempsey is a former assistant coach and player at Susquehanna University. He was a three-year basketball letter-winner and team captain.

"I am grateful for the opportunity and very confident that this team will be successful both on the court and in the classroom," said Dempsey. "We have a great group of players, coaches, and people with which to work."

Dempsey began his head coaching career at age 24 at Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School in Kingston, PA in 1999.

Dempsey received his Bachelor's degree from Susquehanna University and Master's degree from Bloomsburg University. He came to Rider from Scranton, Pa with his wife Amy and children Tommy and Emily.

-RU-

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