DURHAM, N.H.-- Bill Herrion, one of the most successful coaches in America East men's basketball history while at Drexel University, has been named the 20th head men's basketball coach at the University of New Hampshire. Herrion replaces Phil Rowe, who resigned from the position earlier this month. The announcement was made today by UNH Athletics Director Marty Scarano.
"This is an exciting day for the University of New Hampshire," said Scarano. "We are thrilled to announce the hiring of Bill Herrion as our men's basketball coach. Bill absolutely embodied everything we looked for in this search. He showed a vision for excellence that we aspire to in all of our athletic offerings. We are confident that he will take our basketball program to new heights."
"We welcome Bill Herrion to the University of New Hampshire," said UNH President Ann Weaver Hart. "UNH basketball is now poised for competitive success under the experienced leadership of Bill Herrion. Coach Herrion, with a proven history of success, is an important cornerstone in getting UNH men's basketball on the same level of achievement as our other athletic programs. His belief in his players and what they can achieve over time will carry UNH basketball far."
Herrion, 47, who arrives at UNH after a short stint as the associate head coach at the University of Arkansas, is best known for his outstanding accomplishments at Drexel where he posted an impressive 167-71 record from 1991-1999. During that period, Herrion led the Dragons to three NCAA tournament appearances in 1994, 1995 and 1996 and also led the school to its first-ever NIT appearance in 1991. The team finished first or second in conference play in seven of his eight seasons. He also posted five consecutive 20-game winning seasons, including his best, a 27-4 campaign in 1996. That same year, Herrion led Drexel to its first-ever NCAA tournament victory with a first-round upset over Memphis.
In 1998, America East celebrated its 20th year of men's basketball by naming the 20 individuals (players, coaches, administrators) who had been the most influential in the growth of the conference over the first two decades. Four coaches were named to that team: Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Mike Jarvis and Bill Herrion. Herrion is still the only coach in America East/NAC/ECAC North history to earn four Coach of the Year awards (1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999). He also has a conference record 18 tournament wins (18-5) and is second only to Calhoun with three conference championships. His overall conference record in America East was 121-32 for a winning percentage of .791.
"I'm obviously very excited about the opportunity to be head coach at UNH," said Herrion. "It's a great opportunity to get back into America East, a league that I'm very familiar with and have a lot of respect for. We are looking forward to moving this basketball program in the right direction and to compete for the championship in America East."
Following his success at Drexel, Herrion was hired as the head coach at East Carolina University from 1999-2005, giving him 14 years of total experience as a Division I head coach. While at ECU, Herrion posted a 70-98 record giving him an overall career mark of 237-169. The Pirates were sometimes overmatched after the school stepped up to high-powered Conference USA, but Herrion's teams were tenacious and went on to post the school's first-ever victory over a top 10 squad with a win over No. 9 Marquette. ECU also enjoyed its first-ever victory over national powerhouse Louisville during his tenure.
Herrion also had America East ties as an assistant coach at Boston University from 1985-1990. During his stay in Boston, the Terriers posted a 101-51 record and the team made NCAA appearances in 1988 and 1990 and was invited to the NIT in 1986.
Herrion served as an assistant coach at George Washington University from 1990-91.
Other coaching experience on his resume includes serving as an assistant coach of the 19-Under U.S. National Team that competed in Athens, Greece in 1995. He was also the assistant coach for the 22-Under U.S. National Team that went on to win gold in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1996.
Herrion is a 1981 graduate of Merrimack College where he earned his bachelor of arts degree as a history major.
The salary for this position is $130,000 per year.
A press conference to introduce Herrion will be held on Tue., May 31, in the Skybox Lounge at the Lundholm Gymnasium. The press conference will begin promptly at 3 p.m.