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Ryan Bamford looks to bring in a coach that will ‘outwork’ his resources

(Cade Belisle/ Daily Collegian)

Massachusetts Athletic Director Ryan Bamford wasted no time Thursday afternoon firing Derek Kellogg and he plans on wasting no time hiring his replacement.

In a conference call with reporters Friday morning, Bamford expressed his desire to hire the new head coach of the UMass men’s basketball team by the end of the month. He believes that over the course of the next week he will have a better idea of who the specific candidates will be.

“I can tell you, my goal is not to talk to 50 people and really drag this thing out,” Bamford said. “I want to focus on a smaller group and really understand who knows us well and who has a good game plan for bringing us success and staying at a high level of success. That will be a really focused search as we get through the first week and really see what the landscape looks like.”

UMass has hired Eddie Fogler of Fogler Consulting to help aid Bamford in his search for a new coach. Bamford made it clear that the purpose of the consulting firm is to coordinate with coaching candidates, but the decision of who to hire still lies with the AD.

While finalists for the position are not yet set, Bamford has a coaching profile in mind that he is looking for a candidate to meet.

“Obviously someone who is a talented recruiter, can build a quality staff, a staff that can recruit and develop talent,” Bamford said. “Someone that knows the program is not only focused on the basketball piece but bringing in student athletes that are going to succeed in the classroom, be good community members.

I think in our league, a multi bid league, I think the coaching the X’s and O’s aspect is very important. There are so many games in our league that go down to the under four timeout, the media timeout at the end of four mark and I think that the games are won and lost in that last four minutes and we need somebody that can help make a difference in that time period and win games based on their coaching.”

Nine of the Minutemen’s 18 losses were by five points or less. Also in six losses UMass had entered the half with a lead.

Current players expressed their disappointment with the decision via Twitter. Freshman point guard DeJon Jarreau tweeted “I just wanna say thank you for all you done for me. The relationship we developed is like no other, love you coach. Until we meet again..”

Fellow freshman Brison Gresham also took to Twitter to thank his first collegiate head coach. “Thank you Coach DK for not being like everyone else and actually caring for each individual on your team.”

UMass entered the 2016-17 season with a highly anticipated freshman class. Bamford acknowledged that much of why recruits have committed to UMass over the past nine years is because of Kellogg. Though he hopes recruits have chosen UMass for more reasons other than just the coach, he understands if some current Minutemen elect to transfer.

“Obviously they’re upset by the change because they know Derek as their head coach and he’s the one that recruited them. I hope that they picked the University of Massachusetts for more things than just who their coach is,” Bamford said. “I’m not naïve to think that’s not one of the biggest reasons, but UMass is a special place and it’s a great opportunity from an education standpoint for these young men, and obviously I want to give them the greatest leader, we’re going to have somebody who comes in and challenges them to be as good as they can be.”

Bamford’s hope is that the next head coach will be able to work with the resources he has but also “outwork those resources.”

Philip Sanzo can be reached at psanzo@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.

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