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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Saint Joseph’s University has hired Philadelphia 76ers assistant Billy Lange as its new basketball coach.
The school said Thursday that Lange would succeed longtime coach Phil Martelli, who was fired earlier this month after three straight losing seasons.
Lange joined the Sixers in 2013, initially focusing on player development, although for the last season he has been in charge of the team’s defense. Sixers head coach Brett Brown praised Lange in a statement to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I am proud of his appointment and he and his family will be missed as friends and Billy in a professional capacity, very much,” Brown said. “He has been with me from day one and to see where he started and now where he has ended up, is a fantastic human and basketball story. We will be following him closely. Go Hawks.”
Lange previously was an associate head coach at Villanova and head coach at Navy, where he led the Midshipmen in 2007-08 to their first winning season in seven years. Lange had also served as an assistant coach at La Salle and at Philadelphia University.
Lange is the 15th head coach in the 110-year history of Saint Joseph’s.