Broncs Travel to LIU
BROOKLYN, NY-Rider University and Long Island University share a common historical figure.
Clair Bee is a name most associated with basketball, whether it be for winning national championships as a coach or having invented the shot clock and 3-second rule.
Bee was also an author. He wrote an entire series of books about an "all-American boy" in high school, a role model student-athlete named Chip Hilton.
Bee was also Rider's first baseball coach, before moving on to national prominence as a legendary basketball coach at LIU.
In 1928 Bee, an Accounting professor at Rider, founded varsity athletics and coached the original Roughrider football, basketball and baseball teams.
The Roughrider football team lost 2-0 to LIU to start the 1928 season. Rider came back to go 6-0-1 in 1929 and was 6-4 in 1930.
Bee's basketball teams at Rider went 18-3, 17-2 and 17-2, became the first college team in the country to score 1,000 points in a season and made a star of the young coach.
Baseball under Bee lasted just the one year at Rider, 1929, but came back in the 1940s and the team is now in its 70th year of varsity competition.
Bee left Rider for LIU, where he won NIT Championships in 1939 and 1941 with the Blackbirds and is now in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
Bee is also a Charter Member (1990) of the Rider Athletics Hall of Fame.
In response to losing Coach Bee to LIU, the Rider baseball team got its revenge in the 1990s.
The Broncs and Blackbirds were Northeast Conference rivals for five years. Rider defeated LIU 7-4 in the 1994 NEC Title Game. The Broncs beat the Blackbirds 4-3 in 10 innings in the 1995 NEC Title Game. And Rider beat LIU 14-1 in the 1996 NEC Title Game.
Three straight years Rider went on to the NCAAs and LIU went home.
Rider has also won the last eight meetings with LIU.
The Broncs defeated LIU three times in 2010 and the teams did not meet last year. The Broncs beat LIU at Rider in 2009 and won both meetings in the home and home series in both 2008 and 2007.
The last time LIU defeated Rider was during the 2006 season in a game played at Rider.
Rider holds a 26-12 advantage in the series that began in 1941.
LIU (14-23) recently lost three out of four games against Wagner and has lost five of its last six contests.
The Blackbirds are led by sophomore outfielder Pete Leonello, who is batting .338 with 51 hits in 37 games. He also has a team-high nine stolen bases.
Rider (11-23) recently took two out of three games from the hottest team in the MAAC, ending Manhattan's 10-game winning streak.
Junior Ian Lindsay (Oaklyn/Haddon Twp.) has six hits in his last 13 at bats, including a walk-off home run to lead Rider to the MAAC doubleheader sweep last weekend.
Lindsay currently leads Rider with a .324 batting average.
This past winter Rider basketball fans were able to visit Coach Bee's memorabilia in the Hall of Fame when the MAAC Basketball tournament was held in Springfield, Mass.
Wednesday the Bronc baseball team will have another opportunity to seek revenge for LIU stealing our beloved Coach Bee.
Following the trip to Brooklyn Rider will host another former NEC foe, Marist, in a MAAC three-game series beginning with a 12 noon doubleheader Saturday.