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The new women's basketball coach at Niagara University is Jim Coen, formerly head coach at East Texas State, the university announced Monday.

Coen, 41, becomes the fourth women's coach in 16 years at Niagara. He replaces Nancy Riccio, who resigned after last season.

Coen compiled a 7-20 record as interim coach at East Texas last season. Prior to that, he assisted Gene Bartow with the men's team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a season.

Coen rebuilt a losing program at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, after taking the job in 1982. He coached the team to 18-8 and 19-8 records in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. He then moved to St. Mary of the Plains College and won 20 or more games three straight seasons on the NAIA level, from 1985 to 1988.

"Jim comes highly recommended," said Mike Jankowski, Niagara athletic director. "People like Rollie Massimino and Gene Bartow gave him outstanding recommendations. . . . His teams have been successful both on the court and in the classroom."

Niagara was 8-20 last season.

Armstrong gets transfer

Clint Holtz, a 6-foot-11, 230-pound center, has transferred from George Washington to Niagara, men's basketball coach Jack Armstrong announced.

Holtz must sit out this season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

A starter his freshman year at George Washington, Holtz averaged 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. He was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference's all-rookie team. Last year, injuries forced Holtz to miss the team's last eight games. He started 12 of 20 games he played, averaging 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds.

"A key factor in Clint's decision was having Bob MacKinnon (Jr.) on our staff," said Armstrong, referring to the assistant coach who left George Washington to come to Niagara this spring. George Washington fired head coach John Kuester after the season, replacing him with Boston University's Mike Jarvis.

"With 10 players entering their first or second year of college basketball on our roster this year, and adding Clint the following year, we have established a strong foundation for our program," Armstrong said.

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