Ford spurns Providence, to remain at UMass

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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Jenna Oelschlegal

Weeks of speculation involving where Massachusetts men’s basketball coach Travis Ford will coach next season are over.

He isn’t going anywhere.

UMass athletic director John McCutcheon made the announcement Thursday night at 7 p.m., saying that Ford will be back in Amherst next season.

“I want to give every one of you an opportunity to have a nice, deep cleansing breath. Relax a little bit, with the knowledge that Travis Ford, our head men’s basketball coach, is going to be with us for many years to come,” McCutcheon said to applause at the team’s end-of-the-season banquet.

McCutcheon told the media that Ford’s contract has been re-worked, but an announcement further detailing that would come later.

This all came just one day after Ford interviewed for the Providence coaching position and two days after saying he did not want to be considered for the job at Louisiana State.

He turned down the Providence job offer to remain at UMass.

“It’s been a long two days,” Ford told the media, struggling to find the right words. “It was a tough decision. Any time you have options to look at great places [it’s tough], but it was easy to make the decision with all the reasons that I wanted to be here.”

Both McCutcheon and returning Minutemen were excited with the news, which ended days of stress regarding the decision.

“You’ve seen me at games, right? I’m nervous, I’m always nervous. So I’ll leave it at that,” McCutcheon said, referring to his concerns at the time he could lose his coach.

“We were all worried and I was really nervous, but when we found out he was staying it was a big relief,” junior guard Chris Lowe said. “Now that he’s back, you can really watch out for us in the next couple of years.”

Ford is excited about next season and is confident he made the right decision.

“This is the right place for me,” he said. “I’m 100 percent committed to this. I like this basketball team coming back and our future.”

“We committed to him and he committed to us,” McCutcheon added.

Eli Rosenswaike can be reached at [email protected]