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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rider adds Kevin Noon to staff as DOB

Kevin Noon is coming home.

Rider head coach Kevin Baggett announced Thursday that the former manager-turned walk-on has been hired as the new director of basketball operations.

Noon, a Cherry Hill native, graduated from Rider in 2012, suiting up as a senior after spending the previous two years as a student manager.

"When I got the call from coach Baggett asking me if I was interested in the job here at Rider, it was a little bit of a surreal feeling," Noon said. "There's a little more passion for the place you can call home. Rider helped build me and help make me the coach I am right now and (will) continue to help me along that path."

Noon went on to work as a graduate assistant at Miami under Jim Larranaga and then as DOB at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

In his year with Miami, the Hurricanes went 29-7, won the ACC regular season and tournament title and advanced to the Sweet 16. Larranaga was named National Coach of the Year.

Noon credits Larranaga and his staff for his progress in the coaching ranks.

"It was a great learning experience for me, getting to work under one of the best coaches in the country," Noon said. "Having the chance to build those networks and pick their brains ... it's the staff who took George Mason to the Final Four and then built Miami into the Sweet 16 team we were. Having the chance to work for them and gain their knowledge and have them kind of mentor me in my first coaching experience is such an invaluable thing. I could never ever, ever replace that. They gave me the chance to leap into the coaching profession two-feet forward."

Noon replaces another former Rider player, Paul Johnson, who spent one season in the post.

"I'm happy to welcome back Kevin Noon as our basketball operations coach," Baggett said. "Kevin did a great job for us in both of his previous roles, first as a team manager and then as a player."

Noon spent one season as a walk-on after two years as a student manager. He appeared in seven games and scored three points — a banked in 3-point shot against Saint Peter's.

The former Cherry Hill High West standout said he wanted to get into coaching during his freshman year at Rider, so he volunteered as an assistant with the Lawrence High program.

It wasn't until his sophomore year that he hooked up with the men's basketball program. Baggett interviewed him for the student-manager position and then was influential in helping him become a walk-on.

"I used to tell people all the time, 'he's going to be a head coach real soon,'" Noon said. "I was able to watch what he did and that's great for me now because I'm taking this job and I'm able to come in with an expectation and knowledge of what to expect."

Now they'll work side by side. 

"I'm excited to be back," Noon said. "It's a great feeling."


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