Ex-Michigan coach Amaker going to Harvard

4/11/2007 - Harvard Crimson

Harvard hired former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker as its next men's basketball coach.

"I called today and accepted the offer," Amaker told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "It's a terrific opportunity for me. I've been fortunate to be associated with some of the finest academic institutions in the country, and none is greater than

The hiring was first reported by ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

Amaker will be formally introduced at a Friday news conference.

Amaker was let go at Michigan last month after six seasons. Amaker cleaned up a program that dealt with NCAA violations but wasn't able to get the Wolverines to the NCAA Tournament. Michigan was 22-13 last season and 109-83 overall with three 20-win seasons but just 43-53 in the Big Ten under Amaker.

Amaker replaces Frank Sullivan, whose contract with Harvard was not renewed after the Crimson went 12-16 overall and 5-9 in the Ivy League last season and 178-245 over 16 years. Harvard hasn't played in the NCAA Tournament since 1946.

In four seasons at Seton Hall, Amaker led the Pirates to a 68-55 record, a trip to the round of 16 in the 2000 NCAA Tournament and three NIT bids.

Amaker spent nine years on Mike Krzyzewski's staff at Duke, where he was a four-year starter in the mid-1980s.

"His experience as a player and assistant at Duke, where athletic and academic success is paramount, makes him a terrific fit," Harvard athletic director Bob Scalise said in a statement. "We're looking forward to the support of the Harvard community as we pursue our first Ivy League championship in men's basketball."

Amaker will become Harvard's first African-American head coach currently on campus in its 32 sports. But the school has had several black coaches in the past. Amaker is the third black coach out of the last five to lead the Crimson basketball team.

Those in the Ivy League have always considered Harvard to be the hidden gem among the league and with a transition going on at Princeton and Penn there is a chance for Harvard to move up in the coming years.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.