Rohrssen takes over Manhattan

Updated: April 25, 2006, 4:17 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Barry Rohrssen, a Pittsburgh assistant and strong recruiter in the New York area, was hired Tuesday to succeed Bobby Gonzalez as coach at Manhattan.

The 45-year-old New Yorker signed a five-year contract. Gonzalez left Manhattan two weeks ago after seven seasons to coach Seton Hall.

"This feels great for someone from New York," Rohrssen said at a news conference on Manhattan's Bronx campus. "I took the subway here today. I am home."

Rohrssen spent seven seasons as an assistant at Pittsburgh. He was the associate head coach to Jamie Dixon the last two seasons and was considered one of the top recruiters in the country.

"There were such great people at Pittsburgh and I miss those kids already," Rohrssen said. "Recruiting in the Big East and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference have the same objective, just recruit good players who want to play at your school. Nothing changes."

Gonzalez led Manhattan to a 129-77 record in seven seasons with two appearances in the NCAA tournament and two in the NIT. The Jaspers won two games in the NIT last month before losing at Old Dominion and finishing with a 20-11 record.

"Continuing what has gone on here means high standards," Rohrssen said. "This school has had tremendous success and I hope to continue that."

Three of the last four head coaches at Manhattan went on to jobs in the Big East: Steve Lappas, Fran Fraschilla and Gonzalez.

"Some very good coaches have used Manhattan as a steppingstone so we have earned that reputation as a mid-major program that provides opportunities for our coaches," said Manhattan president Bro. Thomas J. Scanlan, FSC. "With New York City being such a big part of Manhattan College, Barry being a New Yorker was so important to us."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press