Comings and goings on Route 206
The Irish had a vacancy because Kevin Bannon, the coach who led Rider to its last NCAA tournament appearance but was later fired under a cloud of controversy at Rutgers, resigned after one 9-14 season to take a gig as a part-time color analyst for Rider men's games.
While Bannon is going one way, Todd Shellenberger is going the other way. Shellenberger, the No. 3 assistant at Rider for the past two seasons, is returning to Notre Dame as the director of development. There was some mutual interest in Shellenberger returning to the sidelines at ND, but both sides agreed the development job would be too time-consuming.
The Irish then launched a search that landed them Turco, while Tommy Dempsey promoted director of basketball operations Ben Luber to assistant coach and hired former UMBC point guard Jay Greene to fill the DOBO spot.
As for Bannon, he'll join Daryl Fein on broadcasts for Rider home games. Steve Rudenstein, who had been the full-time color guy -- and who took a full-time job in the Rider development office last year -- will stay on as the color guy for road games.
Bannon, who heads the Mercer County Parks commission and helped set Rider up with hoops and a floor at the Trenton-Mercer Airport last year, is an eye-opening choice as a color analyst.
I KNOW what non-Rider fans will think of the move, given his highly publicized departure at Rutgers. I'm interested to see, though, what Rider fans think of his return and whether they think it's a positive to have a link to that 1994 team associated with the program.