Marist reaches deal to hire Jeff Bower

Jeff Bower, the former New Orleans Hornets general manager and coach, has reached an agreement on a contract to coach Marist College, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Bower, who has been scouting for the Dallas Mavericks this season, served as an associate head coach at Marist for five years in the early 1990s. He will be introduced as Marist's coach at a Monday news conference.

In his 14 years with the Hornets – including six as general manager – Bower had two different runs as an assistant coach and did an admirable job as interim head coach in the 2009-10 season. Despite multiple injuries, including losing All-Star point guard Chris Paul for nearly two months, Bower managed a 34-39 record.

After that season, Bower moved back to the front office. He was fired as the Hornets' top executive in July 2010. Since then, Bower has been a finalist for general manager jobs, including Philadelphia, Orlando and Portland. Bower had also considered coaching in the NBA's Development League and college.

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Marist has had modest success in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in recent years, but its facilities, campus and academic reputation make it an attractive destination in the MAAC. He will inherit a program that went 10-21 overall, including 6-12 in the league. Marist returns several key players for next season.

Before joining the Hornets in 1995 from Marist, Bower had also been an assistant with Penn State and Saint Francis.

Among the finalists for the Marist job included Stony Brook associate head coach Jay Young. A Marist alumnus, Young's considered one of the top assistants in the Northeast.

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