Canisius College this afternoon confirmed it has hired Jim Baron as its next men's basketball coach.
"I am extremely pleased to introduce Jim Baron as our men's basketball coach," Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher said in a press release issued by the school. "In naming Jim to this position, we have hired a man who has a proven track record of building successful basketball programs and developing young men. He is excited to return to Western New York to lead the Canisius College basketball program."
Baron has plenty of experience in the Big 4. He's a 1977 graduate of St. Bonaventure who coached at his alma mater for nine years (1992-2001), making one of his two career NCAA Tournament appearances with the Bonnies (in 2000). Baron went on to coach for the past 11 years at Rhode Island, leading the Rams to five NIT appearances and a 184-165 overall record.
Baron's hiring was first reported Sunday night by cbssportsline.com, although it wasn't made official by the school until this afternoon.
Baron, 58, will be introduced at a press conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Koessler Athletic Center. The coach, who was fired from Rhode Island last month after a 7-24 season, signed a five-year contract. He has an overall career record of 390-367 in 25 years as a Division I coach.
Prior to his time at Bona, he coached St. Francis (Pa.) for five seasons, including his other NCAA Tournament appearance, in 1991.
"This is a great day for Canisius College basketball," school president John J. Hurley said in a release. "Jim Baron has demonstrated throughout his career that it is possible to match success on the court with success in the classroom. He has been a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of young men, and I'm tremendously excited about the prospect of working with Jim to restore Golden Griffin basketball to glory."
Baron takes over for Tom Parrotta, who was fired last month after a 5-25 season. The Griffs do return all five starters from that team.
Baron and his wife, Cindy, have two sons: Jimmy, a 2009 graduate of URI who played for his father, and Billy, who just completed his sophomore season with the Rams.