Men's College Basketball
Broncs' Boss Baggett Completes Staff
LAWRENCEVILLE-Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett has completed his first coaching staff.
Joining six-year veteran assistant Mike Witcoskie, who is now the associate head coach, are Assistant Coaches Louis Rowe and Michael Cotton, and Director of Basketball Operations John Griffin.
"It was important that I build a staff that has great synergy, energy and experience," said Baggett, a 19-year veteran on the Division I level. "I think I've definitely accomplished that with these four individuals and I'm confident that they'll be a tremendous asset to our program and the University. I'm also pleased that Mike Witcoskie stayed on to be part of my staff as we've worked together the past six years and have developed a great working relationship. He made my transition to head coach as seamless as possible."
Rowe comes to Rider from James Madison University where he first made a name for himself as an All- Colonial Athletic Association player on the 1994 championship team and captain and All-CAA performer on the 1995 team.
Rowe returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in 2007.
"I'm excited to have Coach Rowe join our staff," said Baggett, who inherits a team that placed fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference last season. "Louis is a guy with great character that possesses the will and desire to win. His knowledge of the game and experience are two of his many resourceful credentials and he's already had proven success in his collegiate and professional careers both on and off the court. I am really looking forward to working with Louis."
Rowe played professionally abroad from 1995-2004 in Sweden, Germany, Belgium, France, Israel and Greece. He was a member of championship teams in Sweden (1995) and Belgium (2000).
A St. Petersburg, Florida native, Rowe played for two seasons at the University of Florida before transferring to JMU. In two seasons at JMU, he compiled over 1,000 points, over 300 rebounds and 80 blocks.
Cotton and Griffin come to Rider from Bucknell University, Cotton as a four-year assistant coach and Griffin as a four-year starter.
"We are fortunate to have Coach Cotton join our program as he has a passion and energy for the game that will help elevate us to new levels," said Baggett, who returns two starters and seven total letterwinners from last year's team. "A competitive spirit combined with a formula for academic success is what Mike brings to our staff and I am eager to work with him."
Cotton graduated from Boston College in 2000 with a degree in biopsychology and has been a head coach and algebra teacher in Durham, NC at the Kestrel Heights School and the Western Vance High School, as well as AAU teams.
Cotton played at Oklahoma before transferring to Boston College where he was a two-year starter.
Griffin is a 2008 graduate of Bucknell and has spent the last four years playing professionally in England and then spent a year as a video coordinator for the Indiana Pacers.
"As the son of a former college head coach and a former collegiate and professional player himself, John Griffin brings an extensive basketball pedigree to Rider," said Baggett. "He's been a winner at every level and his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the game will definitely have a positive impact on our program."
At Bucknell, Griffin is currently 25th in career scoring (1,084 points) and made 220 three-pointers, second most ever among Bison. He played in a team-record 127 career games and was the team's MVP and earned All-Patriot League honors as a senior. As a freshman, he was named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team.
He played the first year of his professional career in Germany with the Crailsheim Proveo Merlins whom he led to the championship and was voted the Most Valuable Player in the league. After knee and thumb injuries, Griffin played for the Leicester Riders, including in the BBL Championship win over Durham.
Griffin led Saint Joseph's Prep to the Philadelphia Catholic League championship as a senior captain in 2004. His father, John, played at Saint Joseph's University and served as head coach at Saint Joseph's and Siena. His younger brother Matt played at Rider and at Boston University.