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SUNY Canton names Bechtel men’s basketball head coach

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CANTON - SUNY Canton announced on Monday that Jim Bechtel has joined the athletic department as the new men’s basketball coach.

Bechtel takes over the program from Keith Sullivan who resigned this summer after four years at the helm.

“We received more than 170 applications from coaches across the United States and even Europe,” said Athletic Director Randy Sieminski. “Jim’s qualifications, personality and character are exceptional. SUNY Canton is fortunate to be able to bring in someone with so much NCAA experience at both the Division I and Division III levels. We expect our men’s basketball program to continue to grow and excel under his guidance.”

Bechtel brings 10 years of coaching knowledge to the Roos having served as an assistant coach at all three collegiate levels. Most recently Bechtel was the assistant coach and defensive coordinator for St. Lawrence University the past two seasons and under his leadership the Saints finished in the top five in the Liberty League in every defensive category in 2011-12. Prior to joining the Saints Bechtel was an assistant coach at Division I institutions Coastal Carolina University and Penn State University; Division II Shepherd University; and Division III Susquehanna University where he helped lead the Crusaders to the 2008 Landmark Conference regular season championship. He was also the head junior varsity coach at Susquehanna overseeing all aspects of that program. During his time at Penn State and Shepherd Bechtel worked as an academic counselor charged with monitoring the academic progress of the men’s football and basketball teams respectively throughout the year.

“I am very humbled and excited for the opportunity to be the men’s basketball coach at SUNY Canton,” Bechtel said. “I’m grateful for the chance to bring my basketball experience to this growing program and institution and I look forward to the challenges ahead as we transition to the NCAA.”

Bechtel earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Penn State University and his master’s degree in advanced level coaching and physical education from Springfield College.

The Roos will open up their season with a pair of games on the road against the Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins of the NCAA Division III Skyline Conference. Other games on the schedule include Utica College, Alfred University, Wells College, Morrisville State College, and numerous others. The Roos home opener is slated for November 28th against Utica College.

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