Willard's Staying In Worcester

By Josh Herwitt - September 06, 2007

After guiding his team to a conference championship, NCAA Tournament berth and 25-9 record last season, Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard won't be hightailing it to go coach for a big-time BCS school.

Not any time soon at least.

Easily the best coach in the Patriot League right now, Willard agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Crusaders late Thursday that will keep him at the Jesuit school through the 2012-13 season.

While Willard can be assured of a job for the next six seasons, it's Holy Cross who's really the big winner here.

After all, the Crusaders are holding onto a guy who has been able to propel the program to new heights since taking over in 1999.

"Ralph has really elevated this program since he arrived," Holy Cross athletic director Richard M. Regan, Jr. said. "When we hired him eight years ago, I thought he would fit in very well and time has proven that. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber. I really believe that he is one of the best coaches in college basketball today."

Looking at the numbers, it's hard to argue with Regan.

In his first eight years, Willard has taken the Crusaders to the NCAA Tournament on four separate occasions and had the privilege of coaching four Patriot League Player of the Year selections while maintaining a 159-89 record.

Meanwhile, the three-time Patriot League Coach of the Year, who holds a 303-213 career record from his other coaching stints at Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh, has tallied 20 or more wins in six seasons at Holy Cross.

Now with his stay in Worcester, Mass. extended for another five years, he's ready to take the Crusaders back to the Big Dance.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 02:31 PM on September 06, 2007
Comments (4)


"easily the best coach"???

How many Patriot League games have you ever seen?

No doubt Willard is one of the best. Might even be the best. You obviously don't know the league.

Bucknell's Pat Flannery, Lafayette's Fran O'Hanlon and Army's Jim Crews are each on par coaching ability wise with Willard.

Flannery is the only coach to have taken a Patriot League team to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Crews' track record at Evansville speaks for itself and he is slowly rebuilding Army despite tremendous handicaps there. O'Hanlon is an outstanding coach who right now is hampered by lack of talent due to being the last school to add scholarships.

Before you make pronouncements like that, learn a little about the league. All you did in this story is point out how clueless you and CSTV are.

Let it be known: I'm a graduate of Bucknell University, Class of 2006.

It seems like all you did in this story was point out that Willard has been a strong coach and will continue to benefit Holy Cross...

To the comment, "All you did in this story is point out how clueless you and CSTV are." Well, "Don't take any guff from those swine. Remember, if you have any trouble you can always send a telegram to the Right People."

Hey Leeger...the next time you want to take a bite at someone on a blog, try reading the title of the thread first (or taking your adderall before you read the rest of it for that matter). The man is obviously just focusing on Coach Willard, and not commenting at all on the abilities of the other coaches in the Patriot League or the respective talents of their teams.

In the future, try being less of an idiot. The whole bumbling moron thing doesn't quite suit you.

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