Tag Archives: Commonwealth Coast Conference

Clark’s Paul Phillips To Retire After 2018-19 Season

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By Matt Nooonan | @MattNoonan11

Clark University men’s basketball coach Paul Phillips announced late Wednesday evening that he will be retiring at the conclusion of his team’s 2018-19 season.

Phillips, who is in his 21st season with the Cougars, enters his team’s current holiday break with a career record of 438-360, which includes wins from his previous stop at Anna Maria College.

The Cougars’ long-time bench boss has guided the Red and White to 273 wins since arriving on campus prior to the start of the 1996-97 campaign, which is the most wins by any coach in the Clark men’s basketball program history. Additionally, Phillips has led the Cougars to four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season and conference tournament championships, along with five appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Clark last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2010.

As of Thursday morning, Phillips has guided his current squad to four wins, including a pair of recent victories earlier this month against Framingham State and Regis College.

Clark, which sits at 4-5 overall, is off until Saturday, December 29th when they host Curry College on the opening day of the Clark Basketball Holiday Classic.

In a statement last night to the media, which was also seen through the Clark athletic website, Phillips said he has been “contemplating” his retirement for “for quite a while,” but feels its best to walk away after his team’s current season concludes.

“I truly appreciate everything that Clark has done for me and everything that the institution has allowed me to do,” Phillips said in last night’s press release. “I will miss the student-athletes the most, but will also miss the action and camaraderie that is developed on and off the court.”

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Paul Phillips is currently the all-time winningest coach in Clark University men’s basketball program history. (PHOTO COURTESY: Frank Poulin)

Phillips was tabbed the 1999-2000 NEWMAC Coach of the Year, while earning the Paul N. Johnson Memorial Award from Worcester Area College Basketball Association (WACBA) in 2016.

Prior to his arrival at Clark, Phillips enjoyed a successful 10-year stint (1986-96) with the Anna Maria men’s basketball program, which included six Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crowns, along an appearance in the 1995-96 NCAA Division III Tournament’s ‘Sweet Sixteen.’

Phillips’ 1995-96 AMCATs squad set the program’s current record for most wins (25) in a singles-season, which was almost matched by the 2012-13 squad that finished its season with 21 victories.


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Catching Up with Danny Lawson of Emmanuel College Men’s Basketball

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Danny Lawson (middle) was recently named earlier this month the third men’s basketball coach at Emmanuel College. (PHOTO CREDIT: David Le ’10/ Endicott College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

It was announced earlier this month that Danny Lawson had been named the third head coach of the Emmanuel College men’s basketball team.

Lawson arrives in Boston, Massachusetts after a successful assistant coaching stint last winter with the Endicott College men’s basketball team. He helped coach Kevin Bettencourt and the Gulls to a 19-9 record, as well as a return trip to the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship against Nichols College.

No stranger to New England basketball, Lawson played at Lexington High School before continuing his career at nearby Bentley University where he guided the Falcons to an impressive 101-27 record in four years, which included a number one and two national rankings, along with an NCAA Elite Eight appearance (2007) and an NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance (2005).

Since graduating Bentley, Lawson has enjoyed a great deal of success in the basketball world, working for numerous programs at all three levels in the college world, while assisting the Boston Celtics during their 2008 NBA Championship run.

Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Lawson to discuss his excitement for the upcoming season with the Emmanuel men’s basketball team.

What interested you in becoming the program’s third head coach? And just to confirm, this is your first-time head coaching position, right?

When the job opened up, I was very excited to apply. Being from the Boston area, I knew a little bit about the history of Emmanuel’s academics and how it is has really exploded as an institution within the last decade. To me, it represented a college with great leadership and continuity. Combined with a tremendous location in the city of Boston – we are next to Fenway Park – I felt it could be a great opportunity for student-athletes academically, athletically and socially. Also, it certainly has always been a goal of mine throughout my coaching career to run my own program.

What did you know prior to accepting to the head coaching position about the Emmanuel men’s basketball program? 

I knew the program was relatively new since the college went co-ed in 2001. The athletic administration structure and support was very evident and crucial for me (throughout the interview process). Also, the program enjoyed success in the early-to-mid 2000s, winning between 17-to-20 games each season. As I prepared for my interviews,  I saw the roster was filled with some talented and young student-athletes, which will be returning this upcoming season. Throughout the interview process I also gained a lot of valuable information about the character of our returning players that are eager to be successful.

You were an integral part of Endicott College’s run to the CCC Championship last winter, so what were some things you learned from that experience, whih will help you in your new role with the Saints? 

I got to work alongside three excellent coaches and close friends in Kevin Bettencourt, Luke Richards and Lance Greene. I have known all three coaches for quite some time – I grew up and played basketball with Kevin, competing on the same AAU team since seventh grade. All three coaches helped me gain an understanding of the D3 landscape, including what it takes to coach at this level to recruiting. I had only coached in Division 1 and 2 levels, so last year’s experience was really instrumental in gaining an understanding of D3 basketball, but also how to be successful at this level, too. The group of players I had a chance to coach at Endicott was a really special group that made my experience at Endicott a lot of fun.

It sounds cliche, but looking back to both your playing career (at Bentley) and other stops, both in college and with the Boston Celtics, who have been some of the coaches and people that have molded you into the coach you are today? 

Like most coaches, I’ve been molded by every coach that I have played and worked for, beginning with my high school coach at Lexington, Bob Farias. Coach Farias had a legendary hall of fame career – he was the best motivator and developer of confidence that I have ever experienced.

Certainly the biggest influence has been my father, Jay Lawson. It is indescribable how much of an impact he has made on my coaching career, specifically in teaching and leading players.

I was fortunate to work for Jim Ferry for seven seasons – he is the former head coach at Duquesne, LIU Brooklyn, Adelphi and Plymouth State. The various opportunities he provided helped me become the coach I am today.

Jack Perri, who I worked with at LIU-Brooklyn – he would eventually become the team’s head coach and lead them to the NCAA Tournament. Jack was one of my assistant coaches when I played at Bentley and is someone I consider a true mentor.

I also spent a great season learning under Steve Evans at LeMoyne College. Steve had a lot of success at LeMoyne from a recruiting and coaching – he is one of the best teachers of the zone defense.

Finally, my season with the Boston Celtics was about as great first basketball coaching experience. Learning and watching from guys like Doc Rivers, Tom Thibodeau, Danny Ainge, Mike Longabardi and Ryan McDonough, as well as the players really helped shape my daily work ethic and approach.

Speaking of the Celtics, you were a member of the team’s 17th championship run, so how much do you think about that experience and being able to celebrate a title with a group that certainly seemed to buy-in from the get-go? 

I was very fortunate to be a part of the Celtics organization during their 17th championship season. To say it was an unbelievable experience would probably be an understatement. One of the biggest things I took away from the experience was how important an unselfish mentality and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good of the team is to a program’s success. Boston’s big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen only cared about winning. They became totally invested in the team’s success right from the start when the team began its season training in Italy. And they had a great veteran bench presence combined with some young talent, as well. They also had a high level coaching staff and management team, but it all just came together at the right time and at the right point in their careers. It was really special.

Are you a Celtics fan or root for another team? 

Yes, absolutely. I grew up here and have always been a Celtics fan.

What does a new coach need to do to get prepared for a new season with a new program? How will you use the next few weeks and months to make sure the team will be ready to go come mid-October? 

Obviously there are a million things you need to accomplish when you take over a new program, but my focus this summer is all about building relationships, beginning with the current players in our program. Additionally, I look forward to meeting and building relationships on campus with other coaches, administrators, faculty and staff, too. I’m currently working on hiring the rest of our coaching staff for the upcoming season, while building and fostering recruiting relationships, as well. I am also working on completing and finalizing our game and practice schedule, while establishing our program’s identity.

Talk about building relationships with your players – how important is to begin those relationships now? 

It’s huge (and) has definitely been a primary focus for me the last two weeks. I have been able to meet with about half the team in-person, while conversing multiple times by phone or text with others. We need to build that mutual trust and respect on both sides, and then we can get on the court.

 

What is your all-time favorite basketball (or sports) movie?  

“Above the Rim” is definitely my favorite. I like others, as well, including “Blue Chips,” “Hoop Dreams” and more.  “Above The Rim” was ahead of its time with Kyle Lee Watson, Tommy Shepard, Birdie, and a lot of great actors and characters.

Finally, when you were growing up, who was a player or two that you idled? What did you like about their game? 

Like most people my age, I was a big Michael Jordan guy growing up. Also, Larry Bird, too. I loved their skill packages and competitiveness, as well as Bird’s passing ability, too.

D3 Football: WNE Unveils Its 2018 Schedule

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Western New England unveiled its 2018 schedule. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rachael Margossian | WNE Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)

The Western New England Golden Bears recently unveiled its 2018 schedule, which includes five home dates, as well as their annual rivalry game with Springfield College.

WNE will visit the Pride in week one on Friday, August 31st with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. Last season, the Pride defeated the Golden Bears in the Fifth Annual Pynchon Saw Game. Quarterback Anthony Service concluded the contest with 235 passing yards – he also rushed for a team-high 49 yards.

The Golden Bears will host their initial home game of the 2018 season one week later when they entertain Westfield State on Saturday, September 8 before making the trek to Husson University on Saturday, September 15th. The Eagles lost to the Golden Bears last season by a touchdown, but did lead at the break by two scores (14-0). Husson was the lone New England squad to advance to the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament last fall.

WNE will close out the month of September with back-to-back games against Anna Maria College and Salve Regina.

The Golden Bears will compete in a trio of conference contests in October, including a pair of home games against Curry College and University of New England before closing out its regular season slate with games against Endicott College and Becker College in November.

WNE concluded its 2017 campaign 8-3 overall and 5-0 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC). The Golden Bears captured the inaugural CCC title with back-to-back wins over Curry and Salve Regina to secure the crown before advancing to the opening round of the NCAA Tournament against Delaware Valley.

D3 Football: UNE Football Unveils 2018 Schedule

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(PHOTO COURTESY: UNE Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

Earlier today, the University of New England athletic department unveiled its first-ever varsity football schedule, which will see the Nor’easters compete in five home games next fall, beginning with a September 8th clash against Husson University.

Prior to welcoming the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) champions to Biddeford, Maine, the Nor’easters will make the trek to New London, Connecticut where they’ll compete against Coast Guard Academy in their first-ever varsity contest on Thursday, August 30th.

Two weeks after their first-ever varsity tilt, the Nor’easters will head to Hampden-Sydney for a week three meeting before enjoying a bye week prior to their initial Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) game against Nichols College, which will take place on Saturday, September 29th in Dudley, Massachusetts. One week later, the Nor’easter will entertain Curry College on Saturday, October 6th, which will be their first home conference game in program history.

Weeks after their final CCC meeting against Becker College on Saturday, November 3rd, UNE will conclude its regular season slate with a home date against Alvernia on Saturday, November 10th.

The first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament will begin a week later on Saturday, November 17th.

VIDEO: WNE’s Anthony Service Joins In The (D3FB) Huddle

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

After leading his team to victory last Saturday, while also shattering the Western New England football program’s record for touchdown passes, senior quarterback Anthony Service joined In the (D3FB) Huddle to discuss the Golden Bears’ season thus far, while also providing some insight on this weekend’s marquee match-up against Salve Regina.

Stay connected with In the (D3FB) Huddle on Facebook and Twitter throughout the remainder of the NCAA Division III Football season. Also, make sure to follow co-host Frank Rossi on Twitter (@FrankRossi).

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