The Citadelle reconnects with the past to approach its basketball future.
Former Bulldogs coach and player Ed Conroy will be named the next military school coach, athletic director Mike Capaccio said March 23. Conroy signed a contract with the military school on Wednesday and a press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday at McAlister Field House. .
“We are very happy to welcome Ed back to the Citadel and the Citadel family,” said Capaccio. “Ed has proven himself at the Citadel and is very grateful for this opportunity. From our first conversation, I could tell how he felt and the motivation he had for this job, as well as his love and respect for The Citadel.
“We look forward to him building the program and succeeding in a very difficult job. As a cadet-athlete and former coach, he has a good understanding of school and what it takes to win in the ever-changing era of college athletics.
Conroy, 55 and currently an associate head coach at Vanderbilt, coached the Bulldogs from 2006 to 2010, leading The Citadel to one of only two 20-win seasons in its history and its only playoff bid. He replaces Duggar Baucom, recently let go after seven seasons.
Vanderbilt lost 75-73 to Xavier on March 22 in the NIT quarterfinals. Conroy’s son, Hunt, is a graduate assistant with the Commodores; his nephew, Liam Robbins, is a 7-0 grad and the team’s starting center.
“I want to thank (Citadel President) General Walters and Mike Cappaccio for the incredible opportunity to be the next head basketball coach at The Citadel,” Conroy said. “Ginny and I are extremely excited to return to Charleston and be part of a city, community and institution that means so much to our family.
“I look forward to building relationships with our current team and recruiting elite student-cadet athletes into our basketball program. I can’t wait to get to work and have the incredible privilege of representing The Citadel and Citadel Basketball once again.
Ed Conroy will take over a Citadel team that was 13-18 last season and lost its top three scorers. SoCon Preseason Player of the Year Hayden Brown and SoCon Rookie of the Year Jason Roche entered the transfer portal; playmaker Tyler Moffe is no longer eligible. Together, they averaged 43.1 points and provided 56% of the Bulldogs’ score.
Conroy’s first term at Citadel included a 20-13 record in 2008-09, when the Bulldogs went 15-5 in the Southern Conference and clinched a College Basketball Invitational.
Conroy had a 49-76 overall record and a 29-47 SoCon mark in four seasons. After a 16-16 season in 2009-10, he left to be head coach at Tulane, where he compiled a 141-179 record in six seasons, including a 20-15 record in 2012-13, his third season in New Orleans. school.
After Tulane, Conroy worked as an assistant coach at Minnesota (2016-21) and Vanderbilt (2021-22).
Conroy, who played point guard for the Bulldogs from 1985 to 1989, was hired in 2006 to replace Pat Dennis. His first two teams went 7-23 and 6-24, but his third team staged a dramatic turnaround with players such as Cameron Wells, Demetrius Nelson, Zach Urbanus, Austin Dahn and John Brown.
Nelson, a 6-8 center for St. John’s High School, averaged 15.6 points and 6.5 rebounds, while point guard Wells scored 15.6 points per game and became the league’s career leading scorer. school. Urbanus shot 44.1% from 3-point range and averaged 10 points, while Dahn shot 32.7% from range and Brown emerged averaging 6.4 points and 8.1 rebounds in the league.
The team has won 11 straight one-shot wins, including two victories over then-SoCon rivals College of Charleston. The Bulldogs won a playoff bid at the CBI and lost 67-59 at Old Dominion.
This team ranked eighth in the SoCon in scoring offense (66.8 ppg), but was second in scoring defense (64.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.431), and field goal percentage (.431). 3-point defense (.332).
The Citadel went 16-16 the following season, and Conroy headed to UNC Wilmington before signing with Tulane.
Conroy is a cousin of former Citadel basketball player and famed author Pat Conroy, whose memoir “My Losing Season” is an account of his senior season at The Citadel. Pat Conroy’s novel “The Lords of Discipline” is also based on his stay at the Citadel.
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