Holy Cross The Model Favorite

By Alexander Pyles - October 18, 2007

BALTIMORE -- Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard has his hands full these days, from dispensing advice to fellow coaches in his conference, to coaching up his team in preparation for defending their Patriot League title.

Willard, who has been the head coach for the Crusaders for nine years, has a resume that includes a 278-204 record and six NCAA Tournament appearances, including four while at Holy Cross. It's not hard to say why he is a role model for some of the younger and less successful coaches in the conference.

Despite preseason predictions that Holy Cross will repeat as Patriot League champs, the team has been hit pretty hard by injuries and illness. Junior guard Laxrence Dixon has been kept off the court by a knee ailment, but the biggest story is Andrew Kiester, a redshirt freshman who missed last season after suffering a stress fracture and could miss time due to the injury's recurrence this season.

Coaches and doctors are afraid the radiation treatment that Kiester received for leukemia more than seven years ago has weakened his bones, making it unsafe for him to play. Still, Willard lauded Kiester's attitude, and hopes to get the forward back at some point.

"He's an astounding young man," Willard said.

Posted by Alexander Pyles at 11:50 AM on October 18, 2007
Comments (2)


Andrew has been in remission for 7 years. His stress fractures could be caused by prior meds, then again Andrew gained 25 lbs. in 6 months before last season. Trust me, Andrew's bout with leukemia is in the past.

The above is COMPLETELY incorrect. Keister has NOT had a recurrence of leukemia, just a recurrence of the stress fracture. Please correct ASAP!

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