Jerome Allen, head basketball coach of the University of Pennsylvania, has announced the hiring of Ira Bowman and Jason Polykoff as assistant coaches with the program. Bowman returns to Penn after spending the last four years at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
The year before Bowman arrived at NJIT, the Highlanders were winless (0-29), and in his first season they went 1-30. Since then, NJIT has improved dramatically — just two years after that 1-30 campaign, the Highlanders went 15-15 overall, including a 9-3 Great West Conference mark in 2010-11. This past season, NJIT went 15-17 overall and advanced to the Great West Conference championship game.
Bowman played two years at Penn, the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons, after transferring from Providence College. His first year with the Quakers was Allen’s senior season, when Penn went 22-6 overall and 14-0 en route to its third straight Ivy League title. Bowman was second team All-Ivy that season. As a senior, Bowman was the Ivy League Player of the Year and first-team All-Philadelphia Big 5 as he led the Quakers to a 17-10 record including a 12-2 mark in Ivy play. Penn tied Princeton that year for the conference title, but fell to the Tigers in a one-game playoff to determine the Ivy’s NCAA tournament bid.
Following his Penn career, Bowman enjoyed a professional playing career that included stints with the 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. He also played overseas, in Italy and Australia, as well as in the CBA.
Polykoff comes to Penn after spending the last five years as the head coach at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood. He accumulated a 113-28 record in that time, winning four consecutive Pennsylvania Independent School State Championships (2009-12). FCS played in four straight Friends School League finals, from 2008-11, winning the title in 2010 and 2011. Polykoff coached four McDonald’s All-America nominees, including Amile Jefferson, who was a McDonald’s All-America recipient this season. Jefferson will play his college basketball at Duke.
Polykoff played college basketball at Haverford College, where he was team captain in 2005-06. He was the Fords’ MVP, as well as a Philadelphia Area Small College All-Star.
Tony Chennault granted NCAA hardship waiver
Villanova guard Tony Chennault, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Wake Forest, has been granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to play for the Wildcats in 2012-13.
Chennault transferred from Wake Forest at the conclusion of the spring semester so that he could be near his Philadelphia home to assist his family. The NCAA has approved Chennault’s request, allowing him to be on the active roster in 2012-13. The product of Neumann-Goretti will have two seasons of eligibility.
Miller named head coach at Salem Community College
Nyere Miller, who had a combined seven-year run for Widener as a player and an assistant coach, has been named men’s basketball coach at Salem Community College. Miller was a major reason why Widener won three Commonwealth Conference titles and competed in the NCAA tournament all four years from 2006-09.
He finished second in school history with 257 steals and holds two of the top three single-season marks, including a team-record 92 in 2007-08. In 2008, he was named MVP of the conference tournament.
Miller, a Washington. D.C. native, and Gonzaga College High School graduate, helped the Pride last season close 18-8 and finish second in the conference. This helped Widener grab its first home game in the conference tournament since his senior year in 2009.