A-10 Basketball: GW Welcomes Mike Lonergan to Foggy Bottom to Revive Colonials

No NameContributor IIIMay 8, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 19:  Head coach Mike Lonergan of the Vermont Catamounts looks on from the bench against the Syracuse Orange during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at HSBC Arena on March 19, 2010 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

The Washington Post is reporting that former University of Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan has been hired by George Washington to coach their men's basketball team.

Lonergan is set to replace former head coach Karl Hobbs, who was "released from his contract" back on April 25th after GW performed an internal investigation of their athletic department led by New York Yankees president and GW alum Randy Levine.

Hobbs' time in Foggy Bottom saw a mixture of highs and lows including a top-10 ranking in the nation as well as the consecutive failures of not qualifying for the Atlantic 10 Tournament.  Hobbs and the Colonials ended their season this year with a home-court loss to St. Joseph's in OT in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, disqualifying them from further competition in Atlantic City.

GW is hoping that now with the addition of Lonergan, the Colonials can bring a winning tradition back to Foggy Bottom.

At Vermont, Lonergan compiled a 126-68 record over six seasons, appearing in the NCAA tournament once. Before his time in Burlington, Lonergan was the head coach of Catholic University, leading them to a Division III National Championship victory back in 2001.

Lonergan also spent a season as an assistant coach to Maryland's recently retired Gary Williams.

Lonergan inherits a team that went 17-14 last season without the help of their star guard and leading scorer, Lasan Kromah. With the expected return of four starters and the addition of top recruit Erik Copes, GW is hoping Lonergan can get right to work in the development of a winning program.

One of the only questions remaining for Lonergan and GW is the recruitment of Copes, who now has the option of backing out of his commitment to the Colonials. Copes is the nephew of Roland Houston, one of Karl Hobbs' former assistants.

Lonergan's first challenge will be to reach out to Copes and convince him into keeping his commitment.