By Andy Chirico
Elm Staff Writer
After 14 consecutive seasons as the Washington College Men’s Basketball head coach, Rob Nugent says goodbye to the program. The announcement was made on March 25, but rumors were buzzing around that the program was in search for a new head coach to rebuild the program. Nugent was initially named head coach before the 2001 season after serving as the head coach of the men’s basketball and baseball teams at Southern Vermont College from 1999-2001.
Nugent ended his career as head coach with a record of 121-230, giving him a winning percentage of .345. Nugent’s best season came in the 2011-2012 season when he went on to end the season with a 14-13 record. That season ended with the Shoremen losing in the semifinals of the Centennial Conference tournament. The impressive run earned him the honor of Centennial Coach of the Year. This was the fourth and final conference tournament WC would participate in under Nugent.
Regardless of the team’s recent struggles, as head coach, Nugent’s players have had much individual success on the court. Nugent produced 12 Shoremen that went on to be named All-Centennial Conference. Out of the program’s 35 1,000-point scorers, Nugent coached six of them, including two of the team’s top six all-time leading scorers.
Nugent developed strong relationships with all of his players. Two freshmen, Joey Shelton and Tas Dixon, gained an immediate impact from Nugent within just one season. “I had a good relationship with Coach Nugent on and off the court. When I was recruited, he came to a couple of my games and made it seem like I would be part of more than just a team but a family.” said Shelton.
Nugent approached the game with a relaxed and intimate attitude, giving his players a respectful and comfortable atmosphere on the court.
“I had a really good relationship with Coach Nugent. He would always bust jokes on me before practice or in film,” said Dixon. “As a coach, I really liked him and will miss him dearly.”
Over the past three years junior Peter Gould built a close relationship with Nugent. “Coach is someone who didn’t just concern himself around basketball but was interested in how you were doing as a student, how your family is, and also how you were feeling emotionally,” said Gould. “I wish coach the best of luck, and whoever ends up with (Nugent) as a coach is very lucky because he really respects his players.”
The program is currently looking for a new head coach for next season.