MAC coaches discuss coming season

By Andrew Singer

In order of predicted finish by blue ribbon forecasters


1.) Ohio Bobcats

2009-10 record: 22-15, 7-9 MAC

Head Coach: John Groce

Record at school: 37-32 (Third Season)

“I told my guys to pay homage to what they did last year,” Groce said. “But they need to understand that what we do this year has nothing to do with how we ended last year. Everybody has lost quite a bit in the conference; the faces of the teams will look very different this year.”

2.) Kent State Golden Flashes

2009-10 record: 24-10, 13-3 MAC

Head Coach: Geno Ford

Record at school: 43-25 (Third Season)

“Right now we definitely don’t look like the Lakers in June,” Ford said. “It’s a transition year for us; the roster has a lot of turnover. I’m expected that we have a 10-man rotation based on what we’re seeing in practice with seven first-year guys in that rotation.”

3.) Akron Zips

2009-10 record: 24-11, 12-4 MAC

Head Coach: Keith Dambrot

Record at school: 139-62 (Seventh Season)

“Most people have picked us down this year, but we feel we’re as good as anyone,” Dambrot said. “Last year they picked us first, and we’re not really that different from last year, the last two years we haven’t had clear cut guys that can win.”

4.) Miami(Ohio) RedHawks

2009-10 record: 14-18, 9-7 MAC

Head Coach: Charlie Coles

Record at school: 238-186 (15th Season)

“I think this team can throw their weight around but they don’t want to,” Coles said. “I’ve been telling them all the time I like them from the neck down, but right now I don’t like this team from the neck up, and you have to have both to be successful in this league.”

5.) Buffalo Bulls

2009-10 record: 18-12, 9-7 MAC

Head Coach: Reggie Witherspoon

Record at school: 144-183 (12th Season)

“You can usually always predict the teams, you might not be right but you can predict what a team will look like,” Witherspoon said. “We really don’t know, though. We haven’t had any action against outside competition, there’s a lot we haven’t done, and along way to go before we establish a routine in where we want to go.”

6.) Bowling Green Falcons

2009-10 record: 14-16, 6-10 MAC

Head Coach: Louis Orr

Record at school: 46-47 (Fourth Season)

“We’re a team that is young and inexperienced,” Orr said. “We have one senior, we have an abundance of freshmen, but we have very good athleticism. I like our talent and the fact that we have high energy.”


1.) Central Michigan Chippewas

2009-10 record: 15-15, 9-7 MAC

Head Coach: Ernie Zeigler

Record at school: 54-69 (Fifth Season)

“We’re a work in progress, however, something we’re proud of is that we feel like we can compete in our division and conference,” Zeigler said. “I think our four seniors have done an excellent job leading by example. We’re trying to redefine ourselves this year. “We’ve got a lot of new guys trying to progress quickly.”

2.) Ball State Cardinals

2009-10 record: 15-15, 8-8 MAC

Head Coach: Billy Taylor

Record at school: 35-56 (Third Season)

“We have a great opportunity to play against St. Johns in a nationally televised game,” Taylor said. “We have a series to play against Butler, probably the biggest rival we have, we also have an opportunity to play against DePaul, and take some of our Chicago guy’s home. We’ll certainly be challenged in a lot of ways in our non-conference games.”

3.) Eastern Michigan Eagles

2009-10 record: 17-15, 8-8 MAC

Head Coach: Charles E. Ramsey

Record at school: 59-96 (Sixth Season)

“It’s fun to go to practice everyday to see what this team can evolve into,” Ramsey said. “We won 17 and lost another five by two or less last year. We had a good season, but if you add those then we had a very good season.”

4.) Western Michigan Broncos

2009-10 record: 18-15, 8-8 MAC

Head Coach: Steve Hawkins

Record at school: 124-99 (Eighth Season)

“We have been practicing well and things look OK,” Hawkins said. “You have the prognosticators… I don’t know how they come up with their predictions. I mean, I don’t know the players in this league so I doubt other people do. If you get picked to win the division, everybody says we have the bulls-eye on our back boys and opposite for when we’re picked last.”

5.) Northern Illinois Huskies

2009-10 record: 10-20, 6-10 MAC

Head Coach: Ricardo Patton

Record at school: 26-62 (Fourth Season)

“We have as good a chance as anyone, but I think every coach goes into a new season very optimistic,” Patton said. “There are certain things that have to go your way, guys have to get healthy, you have to be playing your best basketball in the latter months and you have to get through your non-conference schedule.”

6.) Toledo Rockets

2009-10 record: 4-28, 1-15 MAC

Head Coach: Tod Kowalczyk

Record at school: 136-112 (Ninth Season)

“Overall I’ve been really pleased with the enthusiasm so far,” Kowalcyzk said. “Probably right now we’re down to five scholarship players that are going to play, but overall guys are getting better and buying into what we’re trying to do, and that’s what you need.”