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Jim Ferry named head coach at UMBC

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Jim Ferry

Jim Ferry received excellent reviews from many people in the college basketball world serving as Penn State’s interim head coach this past season, so it was just a matter of time before he landed another head coaching opportunity.

That time came Monday, as Ferry has been named the new head coach at UMBC. The school made the announcement this afternoon.

Ferry will succeed Ryan Odom, who recently left to become head coach at Utah State. During the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Odom led UMBC to a win over Virginia in the first round, the first and only time a 16 seed has beaten a 1 seed in the tourney.

The Retrievers are a member of the America East Conference.

Ferry previously served as head coach at Duquesne, Long Island, Adelphi and Plymouth State before becoming an assistant coach at Penn State in 2017 on Patrick Chambers’ staff. Ferry was the offensive coordinator and helped the Nittany Lions get in position to earn an NCAA Tournament bid in 2020 (although the tourney was canceled).

Chambers was forced to resign in late October, and Ferry took over as the interim coach. He led PSU to an 11-14 overall record and 7-12 mark in the Big Ten.

Ferry handled the entire situation with class, and PSU picked up some big wins during the season. But inconsistency plagued the team, and it struggled down the stretch after being on the NCAA Tournament bubble for several weeks.

Giger’s take

Good for Jim Ferry getting this opportunity. As I’ve said all along, he is a good man and a good basketball coach.

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He absolutely would have deserved to become PSU’s full-time head coach had he led the Lions to the NCAA Tournament. And some people still felt he deserved the job, even after the Lions struggled late.

He is a good offensive mind and a good leader. The PSU players played hard for him after a tough situation involving Chambers’ departure, and that’s a testament to Ferry’s leadership.

Ferry deserves another shot to lead his own program, and here’s hoping he will do a great job at UMBC.

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Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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