Final Thoughts On Coach Baron, Who’s Next?

  • I’ve received a couple emails from upset viewers claiming that I didn’t point out enough lowlights from the Jim Baron era. On the night he was let go by URI I did make mention of the good things he brought to the university but it’s all in how you want to slice it. He won nearly 200 games, had six 20-win seasons, graduated his players and did make it to the postseason six times. The problem is it was the wrong postseason. College sports is a bottom line business and coach Baron didn’t have even one NCAA Tournament life raft to swim too when the sharks started circling. My guess is that 30 years from now the Baron Era will be looked at mostly as a success but it may be a while before Rhody fans are ready to start reflecting. They’re still too geared up for the future of URI hoops.


  • What’s next? As with every coaching change throughout the country these days, message boards are burning up with rumors of who might be interested in coming to Kingston. The popular choice amongst the fan base seems to be Danny Hurley. His brother is more famous and his father is at this point a more accomplished coach but D-Hurl is a man on the rise and URI seems like it would be a logical next step. Some of the well respected basketball minds that I’ve talked too don’t think the URI job is big enough for Hurley but coaching in the NEC is less glamorous than following around the elephant at the circus with a shovel. Thorr Bjorn has targeted April as his timeframe to find a new head man. We’ll see if it takes that long for a solid leads to start leaking out.


  • One final thought on coach Baron. I covered him for the final two years of his tenure at URI but it didn’t take long for me to understand the tremendous respect he’s gained in the local media. With the help of the Runnin Rams Weekly I got to know coach on a personal level throughout one of the most difficult seasons of his lengthy career. He always remained positive and was always engaged when I was telling him some lame story about my terrible high school basketball career. What’s more he sent a personal thank you note to the sports office and waited 20 minutes in a parking lot to talk to me just 24 hours after being let go. How many division one coaches in America would do that?

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