It was an exciting day in Friartown on Wednesday, as the Friars introduced new head coaches for their men’s and woman’s basketball teams. Even though he was about a week on the job, Kim English found out what this new program he inherited is all about.
In a packed alumni hall, radio announcer John Rooke, AD Steve Napolillo and president Fr Sicard introduced both Kim English and Erin Batth to the Friar family. It didn’t take long for both of them to impress. Here’s some thoughts from the press conference.
◦ Erin Batth is Electric– We cover the men’s team at The Providence Crier but it was hard not to get excited about the possibilities with the women’s team after Erin Batth stepped off the podium. She was a down to earth, really well polished speaker, who seemed very grateful to get her first shot as a head coach after 17 years as an assistant. The fans were ready to run through a brick wall after her speech.
◦ Praise for Nap– It was undoubtedly a rough couple weeks for first year AD Steve Napolillo. Having to deal with pushback from students/fans after the tall boy ban and then being in the tough situation scrambling to find a replacement men’s basketball coach. He decided to get down to work and albeit very early returns suggest that he might’ve knocked it out of the park with these two hires. Nap came out a hero on Wednesday and deservedly so. If folks are going to critique him, you also have to rightly shower him with praise when it is warranted. He stepped up to the plate when Providence was arguably in its most vulnerable state.
◦ Not Another Job for Kim English– We saw this a little bit with his early media availability but Kim English didn’t come to Providence because it was a “next step job”. Kim firmly believes in the foundation and leadership that has built at Providence College. He received roars from the crowd when he said he’s always locked in to his current role, never courted another job, and for Nap to toss the list of three names in an emergency next coaching search.
◦ The Friars had every player that hasn’t announced they were leaving Providence in attendance for the presser. That includes Jayden Pierre, who put his name in the portal but I’ve heard he may have to rescind due to a game of 1-on-1.
◦ Dennis Felton was in attendance with Kim English. Felton will be on English’s staff and was an assistant at Providence in the 90s.