Year: Sixth Season
College: Merrimack '81
Bill Herrion, one of the most successful coaches in America East men’s basketball history, begins his sixth season at the University of New Hampshire with a legitimate chance to bring the first conference title in school history to Durham.
Herrion’s first five years have yielded achievements such as being fifth all-time on UNH’s wins list (58), second all-time in wins during a coach’s first five years at UNH, and only the second coach in program history to reach 50 wins in less than five full seasons. It is the previous two seasons, however, that Herrion hopes to build upon after becoming the first head coach in program history to reach three conference semifinals and just the second to make back-to-back semifinal appearances.
Last season Herrion guided the ‘Cats to a 13-17 record and numerous accomplishments that had not been reached in 15-plus seasons, including best home record (9-4) and best non-conference record (7-7). The team yielded the fewest points per game (62.4 papg) in at least nearly 50 years, reached New Year’s Day at .500 or better for the first time in 12 years and also reached multiple attendance achievements at Lundholm Gymnasium. Despite a 6-10 record in the conference, the Wildcats upset Maine in the quarterfinal round of the America East tournament with a 68-57 win to reach the semifinals, where they fell to Vermont.
In 2008-09, Herrion led the Wildcats to their most successful campaign in nearly 15 years. The ‘Cats finished 14-16, with 14 being their highest number of victories since a 19-win campaign in 1994-95. The Wildcats were 8-8 in the conference and grabbed the No. 4 seed in the America East tournament, their best seed since 2002. Herrion guided UNH to just its sixth semifinal appearance in school history and second during his tenure. The Wildcats nearly knocked off top-seeded Binghamton, coming within two minutes of making it to – and hosting – their first title game ever.
Although the 9-20 record may not show it, the 2007-08 campaign was a giant leap in the right direction for the future of the program. The Wildcats were picked dead last in the America East preseason poll, but ended up finishing seventh out of nine teams and nearly upset the second-ranked Hartford Hawks in the quarterfinal round of the tournament. UNH began the season with only five returners from the previous year and by the end of it, had only three of those players available to suit up. Six newcomers joined the program at the beginning of the year and all of them saw significant minutes, including three who were in the top five on the team in minutes per game.
In 2006-07, the Wildcats posted a 10-20 record en route to a seventh-place finish in the conference. The Wildcats were knocked out of the America East tournament in the quarterfinal round, falling 64-47 to eventual champion, Albany, for the second straight season.
Picked to finish last in the preseason America East poll in the 2005-06 season, New Hampshire rebounded in the second half of the season to finish in fifth place with a regular season record of 11-16. The Wildcats posted a conference record of 8-8 that included a regular-season sweep against UMBC, as well as conference champion, Albany. UNH advanced to the semifinals of the America East Championship, its furthest advancement since 1995.
Herrion was named the 20th men’s basketball head coach in UNH history on May 26, 2005.
Herrion, who arrived at New Hampshire after a short stint as the associate head coach at the University of Arkansas, is best known for his outstanding accomplishments at Drexel where he posted an impressive 167-71 record from 1991-1999. During that period, Herrion led the Dragons to three NCAA tournament appearances in 1994, 1995 and 1996 and also led the school to its first-ever NIT appearance in 1991. The team finished first or second in conference play in seven of his eight seasons. Herrion also posted five consecutive 20-win seasons, including his best, a 27-4 campaign in 1996. That same year, Herrion led Drexel to its first-ever NCAA tournament victory with a first-round upset over Memphis.
In 1998, America East celebrated its 20th year of men’s basketball by naming the 20 individuals (players, coaches, administrators) who had been the most influential in the growth of the conference over the first two decades. Four coaches were named to that team: Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Mike Jarvis and Bill Herrion. Herrion is still the only coach in America East/NAC/ECAC North history to earn four Coach of the Year awards (1994, 1995, 1996 and 1999). He also has a conference-record 21 tournament wins (21-10) and is second only to Calhoun with three conference championships. The .677 America East tournament winning percentage is first among active America East coaches, first among anyone with at least 10 tournament appearances and fifth overall all-time. Herrion holds an overall conference record in America East of 137-73 for a winning percentage of .652.
“I’m obviously very excited about the opportunity to be the head coach at UNH,” Herrion said when he was hired. “It’s a great opportunity to get back into America East, a league that I’m very familiar with and have a lot of respect for. We are looking forward to moving this basketball program in the right direction and to compete for the championship in America East.”
Following his success at Drexel, Herrion was hired as the head coach at East Carolina University where he lead the Pirates from 1999-2005, posting a record of 70-98. The Pirates were sometimes overmatched after the school stepped up to high-powered Conference USA, but Herrion’s teams were tenacious and beat a top 10 team with a win over No. 9 Marquette. ECU also enjoyed its first-ever victory over national powerhouse Louisville during his tenure.
Herrion also had America East ties as an assistant coach at Boston University from 1985-1990. During his stay in Boston, the Terriers posted a 101-51 record, made NCAA appearances in 1988 and 1990 and was invited to the NIT in 1986. Herrion served as an assistant coach at George Washington University from 1990-91.
Other coaching experience on his resume includes serving as an assistant coach of the Under-19 U.S. National Team that competed in Athens, Greece in 1995. He was also the assistant coach for the Under-22 U.S. National Team that went on to win gold in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1996.
Herrion is a 1981 graduate of Merrimack College, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in History.
Year: Fourth Season
College: Moravian College '83
Title:Associate Head Coach
Dempsey is entering his fourth season as Associate Head Coach of the Wildcat program. The veteran college coach, who joined the UNH program in June 2007, lends more than 20 years of successful experience to Coach Herrion’s staff.
Dempsey spent the six seasons prior to joining the Wildcat program as the Associate Men’s Basketball Head Coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dempsey also served as the University of North Carolina-Greensboro assistant coach from 1999-2001. Dempsey is familiar with the Northeast region, where he served as the assistant coach at Northeastern University from 1994-1999. Prior to joining the staff at Northeastern, Dempsey was an assistant coach at Monmouth (N.J.) University from 1984-94. The players he recruited earned 21 all-conference selections and helped the team to three conference championship game appearances.
Dempsey is a proven, self-directed and high-profile coaching/recruiting professional with over 25 years of full-time leadership experience at the aforementioned Division I institutions. Dempsey has a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country by numerous national recruiting and coaching publications and boasts a 100-percent graduation rate among student-athletes recruited. Each of Dempsey’s past four recruiting classes at UMKC were ranked as one of the nation’s top 100 by Hoop Scoop Online. As recruiting coordinator for head coach Wayne Szoke at Monmouth for eight seasons, Dempsey’s recruiting efforts produced the school’s all-time Division I scoring co-leaders, seven of the school’s top-10 Division I scoring leaders and a GTE Academic all-American. Dempsey is also an executive member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Board of Directors.
Dempsey earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1983 from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., where he was a four-year letter-winner in basketball and baseball. He also completed a master’s degree in Education from Monmouth in 1991.
A native of Howell, N.J., he and his wife Bridget have two sons, Riley and Brody, and a daughter, Molly-Kate.
Year: Sixth Season
College: Merrimack '97
Mohr enters his sixth season at New Hampshire under head coach Bill Herrion.
Mohr worked the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at Merrimack College with longtime head coach Bert Hammel.
In his first year as an assistant at Merrimak, Mohr helped guide the Warriors to a 22-9 record, the Northeast-10 Regular Season and Tournament Championships and the NCAA Division II Northeast Regionals during the 1999-2000 season.
The Warriors posted an overall record of 69-73 and were 5-3 in postseason play while Mohr was on staff.
Mohr was also a player at Merrimack from 1992-97. He finished with 879 career points. His senior year he averaged 10.5 points per game and was also a captain. Mohr was a two-time recipient of the Gregory Newman Award given to the ultimate team player. He also received the Ray Gallant award in 1995-96 and the Most Improved Player award in his second year in the program.
Prior to coaching at Merrimack, Mohr taught high school English and was an assistant basketball coach for the varsity program at Carmel High School in Mundelein, Ill.
Mohr is an active member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Mohr lives in North Andover, Mass., with his wife, Meghan, son, Cooper and daughter, McKenna.
Year: Sixth Season
College: Northeastern '02
Bain begins his sixth season at New Hampshire as an assistant coach under head coach Bill Herrion.
Bain is in familiar territory after a successful playing career at former America East member school, Northeastern University from 1998-2002.
Previously, he was an assistant coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. There he was in charge of tracking the progress of student-athletes, the recruitment of qualified prospects, film exchange and fundraising. He served as the Assistant Director of the WPI Summer Basketball Camp. While at WPI, Bain helped guide the regular season champion Engineers to a record of 24-4. The Engineers were tournament champions of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletics Conference (NEWMAC) and made an appearance in the Division III Sweet Sixteen.
Prior to WPI, Bain was an assistant basketball coach at Medford High School in Massachusetts. He helped with practice planning, player development and scouting reports.
While playing at Northeastern, Bain was selected as the America East Rookie of the Year in 1999. In 2002 he was named an America East All-Conference guard and the team’s MVP. He was also a two-year captain of the squad.
Before Northeastern, Bain played for current New Hampton coach Jamie Arsenault at Bridgton Academy, where he still holds the all-time scoring record for points in a season. Bain played with former Wildcat Assane Faye while at Bridgton.
Bain is an active member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), as well as the Black Coaches Association (BCA).
Bain also served as assistant camp director for the Kevin O’Brien Rising Star Basketball camp from 2001 to 2003.
Year: Ninth Season
Title:Director of Basketball Operations
Weitzell enters his eighth season with the Wildcats. His responsibilities include community relations, coordination of the men’s basketball Cage Club, Alumni Affairs, team budgeting and fundraising and organizing player and coaches’ clinics.
Weitzell has organized such events as a fundraising golf tournament and the celebration of the 100 Years of UNH Basketball. He has been critical in getting former New Hampshire basketball players involved in the program. His leadership has elevated the level of the community involvement for the program.
Weitzell, a native of the New Hampshire Seacoast area, coached high school and middle school boys’ basketball at Newmarket for 19 seasons, nine at the middle school level and 10 at the varsity level. During Weitzell’s tenure the Mules reached the playoffs in seven of the 10 seasons.
In 2001, Weitzell was honored by the New Hampshire Coaches Association as the Class M Coach of the year after leading Newmarket to the No. 2 seed in the Class M state tournament and a 17-3 record.