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Jeff Bower's departure leaves Marist looking for a coach late in the calendar

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Jeff Bower
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Jeff Bower

When Marist hired Jeff Bower in April 2013, school administrators believed they were getting a talented basketball coach with roots at the school making it unlikely they would have to go looking for another coach any time soon.

A little more than a year later when programs around the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and the rest of the nation are fine-tuning their summer workouts and recruiting plans, Marist is looking for the 11th coach in its history.

Bower is reportedly on the verge of becoming the next general manager of the Detroit Pistons, returning to the NBA where he spent much of the past 20 years as a coach, scout, general manager and working in the league office. He was an assistant and associate head coach at Marist during a nine-year span in the late-1980s and early 1990s.

Losing Bower is a tough blow for a program that is fighting to claw its way to the top of the MAAC standings. The Red Foxes went 12-19 overall and 9-11 in MAAC play last year under Bower. This is the fourth coaching change at Marist since Dave Magarity left after the 2003-04 season following nearly 20 years at the school.

The program hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1987 and this won't help efforts to get back next season. 

Marist athletic director Tim Murray told the Poughkeepsie Journal he plans to move quickly to hire a replacement. Bower's assistant Eugene Burroughs might be the ideal candidate considering his resume and the timing. Burroughs is in his second stinit as an assistant at Marist (previously 2000-2004) and has 18 years of experience under his belt, including two seasons as associate head coach at Penn State (2011-13). 

While hiring Burroughs would not be splashy, it would certainly go along way toward bringing the eight returning members of the team together along with Bower's five incoming recruits. It would also give school administrators a coach who has a history with the program and a hunger to prove himself.

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[Kyle Ringo is the assistant editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at kyle.ringo@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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