BETHANY SELECTS ANDREW SACHS AS NEW MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH
June 29 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Holy Cross assistant coach Andrew Sachs has been named the new head men’s basketball coach at Bethany, as announced Monday by the school’s director of athletics and recreation Tim Weaver.
Sachs replaces Mike Summey, who stepped down in early June to become the director of basketball operations at the University of Miami (Fla.). Weaver believes Sachs’ work at strong academic institutions at the Division I, II and III levels made him a model candidate to take the reins to the Bison, who have earned a postseason bid each of the last five seasons.
"Andy's extensive experience with winning programs, along with his familiarity with our primary recruiting areas, makes him an ideal fit to lead our men's basketball program,” said Weaver. “He has worked with some great coaches in his career and has enjoyed success wherever he's been. Having spent the last five years in an academic environment like Holy Cross will enable him to understand the necessary balance between academics and basketball for our student-athletes.
“We expect Andy to continue the tremendous success we've had in men's basketball over the last few years and think he can take our program to an even higher level. We look forward to welcoming Andy and his family to the Bethany community."
Sachs has served as Ralph Willard’s assistant at Holy Cross for the past five seasons. During that span, the Crusaders appeared in four Patriot League Championship games, averaged over 20 wins per year, won two regular season titles in 2005 and 2007 and won the Patriot League Tournament in 2007 to receive an NCAA Tournament bid. Holy Cross also earned a NIT bid in 2005, where the Crusaders defeated Notre Dame for the first Patriot League post-season victory.
During his five years, Sachs helped develop two Patriot League Players of the Year, five First Team All-Conference selections and five All-Rookie selections, two of which were named Rookie of the Year. The Crusaders will return five of their top six scorers next season from a team that finished second and lost to American in the Patriot League Championship game last season.
Before arriving at Holy Cross, Sachs was an assistant for Mike Glick at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, Md., in the Baltimore Catholic League. The Cavaliers averaged 28 wins in his three seasons there, claiming two MIAA-A conference titles. He also helped develop 16 players that played in college, including Rudy Gay, now with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
Before Spalding, Sachs was the associate head coach at Division II Indiana University (Pa.) for Gary Edwards from 1996-2001, where he helped IUP to 98 wins in five seasons and a NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2000. Sachs was also the assistant coach for current University of Texas-Dallas Head Coach Terry Butterfield at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Va., from 1992-1996 and helped lead the Marlins to their first ODAC Championship and a NCAA appearance in 1993.
Sachs’ first job was at his alma mater Salisbury State from 1988-1992, where he was also the top assistant for Ward Lambert and helped build the Sea Gulls into a national title contender. During his time there, the Sea Gulls made back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 1991 and 1992. In 1992, the Sea Gulls won a school-record 27 games in a row on their way to the best record in program history (28-2), advanced to the Elite Eight and also helped develop National Player of the Year and Division III’s all-time leading scorer Andre’ Foreman.
For Sachs, the opportunity to take over a successful program like Bethany is a perfect situation for his first head coaching position.
“I’ve been looking for a chance to put roots down with an established winning program and to join an outstanding academic institution like Bethany is a tremendous opportunity,” said Sachs, who is the 25th head coach in Bethany history. “I’ve had the opportunity to work at two outstanding liberal arts colleges, so I am very familiar the academic surroundings and recruiting those types of kids. In addition, getting a chance to work with an administration, led by Dr. (Scott) Miller, which is helping the school prosper in numerous ways, is a blessing.”
The team Sachs is taking over should be in position to enjoy another strong year in 2009-10. The Bison have won a PAC-record 12 league championships, including three in the last five years, earned six trips to the NCAA Tournament and three berths in the ECAC Tournament. Last season, BC finished 17-12, reached the PAC Tournament championship game and received a bid to the ECAC South Region Tournament, where they dropped a 73-69 decision in the quarterfinals at Penn State Behrend.
As of now, next year’s Bethany team is slated to return four starters, including a pair of All-PAC performers, as well as three other seniors who have played key roles in the Bison’s 53 victories during their careers.
While Sachs hasn’t been able to watch film on his new team, he has had a chance to speak with the current players and likes with the attitude from his squad. That is a good start for a team he says will be very focused on executing in every phase to win a basketball game.
“I’ve coached with a Salisbury team that led the nation in scoring and coached at Holy Cross, which led our league in defense four out of the last five years, but regardless of our style, the bottom line is to win basketball games,” said Sachs. “I will say this will be a team that takes great pride in our defense and doing the little things. Blocking out and taking a charge will be reinforced in practice so it becomes natural in games and is more important than looking at the box score.
“I’ve taken a lot from the guys I’ve worked with and one thing I learned from Coach Willard was being very detail-oriented,” said Sachs. “In getting a chance to talk to all the guys, I am impressed with their toughness and I believe we are on the same page. We will do the little things well and be a fun team to watch. Like I said before, the bottom line is winning games and we will not be outworked in reaching our goals.”
A native of Pasadena, Md., Sachs and his wife Paula welcomed their first child, Derek, in December 2008. He received his Bachelor of Arts (1990) & Master’s Degree (1992) from Salisbury State (Md.) University. They plan on moving to Bethany in the near future.