Monthly Archives: July 2007

Pecknold signed through 2011-2012

Pecknold signed through 2011-2012
by Seth Rothman
July 21, 2007

When a school supports a program the way Quinnipiac supports its men’s ice hockey team, and when the coach rewards the school by guiding his team to an improbably successful season, it is a marriage likely to continue.

Yesterday, Quinnipiac made sure its marriage with head coach Rand Pecknold will continue for 4 more years, as Pecknold signed a 3 year extension that will take him through the 2011-2012 season. Pecknold’s current contract was set to expire after the 2009-2010 season.

Contract terms were not disclosed.

“I am very pleased that Rand Pecknold will continue to serve as our head men’s ice hockey coach,” Quinnipiac Athletic Director Jack McDonald said. “He continues to elevate our program within ECAC Hockey and the Division I ranks.”

Pecknold has been the only coach in the school’s Division I history, and has been at the helm of the Bobcats bench since the 1994-1995 season, a span of 13 years.

“I’m extremely appreciative of the commitment displayed once again by Quinnipiac University and its senior administrators to myself, my family and our men’s ice hockey program,” Pecknold said. “I am very proud of our accomplishments over the past 13 years, but I feel that the best is yet to come as we continue to move forward on a national level.”

Pecknold led the team to the ECAC Hockey Championship Game this past season before falling to Clarkson. This upcoming season, the Bobcats will likely be predicted as a top 3 team in ECAC Hockey.

“I am very confident that our men’s ice hockey program will maintain its continued success within the ECAC, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center and in the classroom in the coming years,” McDonald said.

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BOBCATS NOTEBOOK: “Q & A” with new assistant Scott Burrell

BOBCATS NOTEBOOK: “Q & A” with new assistant Scott Burrell

By Michael T. Lyle, Jr.
WQAQ.com Sports
July 16, 2007

Since Tom Moore became the new head coach of the Quinnipiac men’s basketball program a few months back, he’s made a huge impact both with the recruiting process and within his coaching unit. Recently, the staff got a big boost when former University of Connecticut standout and Hamden native Scott Burrell was hired as an assistant to Moore.

Last week, I had a chance to sit down with Burrell—who also won an NBA Championship with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1998—for a Q&A session on him returning home and what he intends to bring to the program through his experience playing at UConn and in the pros.

Q: So you’re back home now and helping with the rebuilding process. How do you feel about returning to the area and with a program that’s expected to improve dramatically?
SB: I feel great. I’m happy to be here and to be coaching at a Division I school. It’s a great opportunity for me to get my foot in the door in coaching because, to be honest, I said I always wanted to coach here when I was done playing basketball. Now that I’m here, it’s a great opportunity.

Q: Who came to you about this position?
SB: No one came to me. I called Tom about four or five times just to set up an interview with him. First, he told me that the job was already taken, so I don’t think he wanted me at first. Then I talked to my old coaches and teammates and they encouraged me to keep battling and fighting to get the job. I did so and eventually Tom gave it to me.

Q: How do you feel about all the expectations of this team up to this point?
SB: I think we’re so new here I don’t know of how much talent we have yet. That might be a thought of other people. I know that the coaching staff is going to work as hard as possible to make a run at the NCAA Tournament and that’s going to be our goal each year.

Q: How’s the recruiting going and what’s it been like with the guys that recently committed to the program? Have they earned their spots on the roster yet?
SB: Everyone is definitely going to have to earn their spots. I and the rest of the coaching staff are watching video to see if we can find some young talent. We’re looking to bring in the best guys we can and get this talent level up to be a team on top of the Northeast Conference every year.

Q: It seems this program is turning into a smaller version of UConn. How does that make you feel that the administration is hiring and bringing in a lot of former Husky standouts and alumni to help turning this team around?
SB: I think it’s always good when you come from a successful program like Connecticut I think the opportunity for this school can be such as that. At one point, UConn wasn’t good as they are now. They built themselves into a powerhouse, and with the new arena, this beautiful school, beautiful campus and the great academics here, Quinnipiac could be another powerhouse in Connecticut.

Q: Speaking of which, what are your thoughts on the campus and the TD Banknorth Sports Center?
SB: The campus is beautiful and the arena is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The view, the courts and the hockey rink are all incredible. You couldn’t ask for a better facility on a college campus. What’s crazy about it is that this is not even a major Division I program, yet they’ve put this much effort into it. That’s why you want to give the same effort back to the program and the school to make this a powerhouse like the president and the athletic director want it to be.

Q: If last year was any indication, do you think that Quinnipiac is going to be capable of running with UConn in the near future?
SB: That’s a goal of ours, but it’s going to take some time. We have a great player in DeMario Anderson, but we only have one year to work with him and get him to gel with the team. You just have to find the right mix of guys that want to come in here to win and turn this program around.

Q: Speaking of DeMario, what’s your impression on him?
SB: He’s a big, strong kid. I’ve watched on tape how talented he is and I think he has a lot of talent to take to the next level. He’s powerful, he can shoot and he can score. I definitely see him being the “Player of the Year” in our conference.

Q: Playing UConn in December, what are your emotions going to be like when you have to go across the court, shake Jim Calhoun’s hand and then walk back to the other side of the court and help Tom Moore coach against the man that you played for before going pro?
SB: With much respect, I owe Coach Calhoun for giving me an opportunity to play there. I helped build that school into becoming a powerhouse and I appreciate that with the chance I was given. They’ll be a lot of emotions running and we just hope to get a “W” somehow, someway. It’s going to be fun.

Get your popcorn here

Dear fellow blog readers,

I would like to say thank you to all my family and friends who read this blog, along with fellow Quinnipiac students who have as well. I would also like to thank WQAQ Sports Department Directors Seth Rothman and Steve Tisi for putting this website together.

Many of you have asked me where you can find the “Popcorn Blog” I tend to talk a lot about. Well, because it has nothing to do with golf, it’s not on this page. So to save you time from having to delve deeply into the pages about basketball and hockey (even though you should check them out – there’s some fantastic articles there) here is the link to the so-called “Popcorn blog”:

https://wqaqsports.wordpress.com/2007/03/12/teams-experiences-thrill-in-the-playoffs/

While I’m at it, let me link you to the two blogs I wrote about the opening of the TD Banknorth Sports Center in January:

http://wqaqsports.wordpress.com/2007/01/27/bobcats-reporter-blend-into-new-habitat (Day 1)

https://wqaqsports.wordpress.com/2007/02/02/second-day-just-as-good-as-first-at-the-sports-center/ (Day 2)

Enjoy,
Jeremy Schilling

Evann Baker Makes It Official

Evann Baker Makes It Official
By Zach Smart

DeMario Anderson was on his way to study hall when his cell phone tooted twice, indicating he had a text message. But this wasn’t a teammate looking to confirm practice time or a friend asking about his plans for later.

It was Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore.

And, he had some good news.

“We just got a boost,” Anderson said, reading the words on his cell phone screen before learning that Maryland’s Evann Baker had just committed.

Baker—a 6-foot-3 guard and DC’s 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year — signed a National Letter of Intent to Quinnipiac yesterday, where he’ll join older brother Jeremy, who inked at the beginning of June.

Baker had been choosing between a handful of Division-I programs after prepping a year at Maine Central Institute. Baker had originally committed to Wichita State, but he had to reconsider after coach Mark Turgeon left to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M this past April.

This past season, his game caught the attention of a plethora of top-shelf teams—including Ohio, UConn, and Texas. Scout.com reported that Quinnipiac, however, was the only school on both the Baker brothers’ lists, and both are eligible to play this season.

Jeremy Baker — a combo guard and transfer via Garden City Community college in Kansas, has played alongside and against the aforementioned Anderson—a super-athletic wing who averaged 18 points in NEC play last season — during their time on the Maryland playgrounds.

Assistant coach Sean Doherty said he was excited about the arrival of both Bakers. Doherty also said that with the Baker brothers, Anderson, and power forward Louis Brookings — a transfer by way of Maryland-Eastern Shore — the Bobcats could have four Maryland natives in the starting lineup.

It makes sense. Maryland has morphed into a basketball breeding ground the past few years, producing players such as Rudy Gay, Kevin Durant, and Michael Beasley, the top-ranked high school basketball player in the United States this season.

Evann Baker starred at Bishop Carrol in DC, where he punished opponents to the tune of 19 points and nine assists per game. He made headlines after hanging 51 points on Brevard Christian in the Montverde Academy Invitational tournament his junior season.

At MCI this past year, Baker averaged 22 points, six dimes, and five boards while playing mostly as an off-guard.