BALTIMORE- Aki Thomas, acting head men's basketball coach at UMBC, has been appointed as the head coach of the program, Dr. Charles Brown, director of athletics, announced today. Thomas has served as acting head coach since Oct. 10, 2012, following five previous seasons as a Retrievers' assistant coach.
"I have been impressed with Coach Thomas' basketball acumen, as well as his positive approach with our student-athletes," Dr. Brown said. "He has all the tools to be an outstanding head coach."
Coach Thomas and his staff have led UMBC to more victories (7) and conference wins (5) than in any season since the 2008-09 campaign, despite the loss of three post players due to injury, including 6'10" starter Brett Roseboro. UMBC's scoring margin in America East play has improved from -13.6 in 2011-12 to -8.0 currently.
The Retrievers are allowing nearly six less points per game (71.3) than they did in the previous season, despite the loss of the primary interior presence of their defense.
"I want to thank UMBC for allowing me the privilege to continue leading its basketball program," Thomas said. "President Hrabowski, Dr. Brown, Dr. Nancy Young, vice president for student affairs, and all my colleagues have given me – and more importantly the team – tremendous support this year."
"I have a tremendous staff in John Zito, Jay Greene, and Brian Johnson, and any coach would be proud to work with them. Our team will continue to improve every day and to represent the UMBC community well."