Michael J. Hanna, Hobart College director of athletics at Hobart College, announced Jan. 6 that Rich Roche, coach of the Statesmen basketball team since August 1997, has resigned, effective immediately. Coach Roche intends to continue working in the sports field and will be considering opportunities closer to home and near family on Long Island.
“I wish Hobart and William Smith Colleges, my colleagues across campus, my friends in the Geneva Community and especially the current student-athletes on the Hobart basketball team the very best for a successful 2006. Although my family and I will look back on our time here and the accomplishments of the past eight plus years fondly, we are looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead of us in the future,” Roche said.
Hanna wished him well in his future endeavors. “Hobart Basketball has recorded a number of very noteworthy achievements during Rich Roche’s tenure as head coach. On behalf of our alumni, staff and student-athletes I am grateful for his service to the Colleges and especially to Hobart Athletics; we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
Members of the 2005-06 team were notified upon their return to campus on Dec. 28. The team returns to the home hardwood against Vassar on Jan. 13 and Rensselaer the following day. A search to secure a successor to Roche will commence at the end of the season.
Roche, a 1987 graduate of Hobart College, was the first coach to lead the Statesmen to the NCAA championships. As a student, he was team captain and received the Charles E. Love Memorial Award for scholarship, leadership, and all-around value to the team.
Roche is tied for second on the school’s career wins list (95), and holds the highest wins per season average of any Hobart basketball coach. In 2001, he was named the Liberty League, RACA, NABC East Region, and BCANY Upstate coach of the year. Roche has mentored a finalist for the Jostens Trophy (Division III Player of the Year), four Regional All-Americans, three Liberty League Players of the Year, and a Liberty League Rookie of the Year. He was also named Liberty League Coach following the 2004-05 season.
He directed the 2004-05 Statesmen to a 16-11 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the Liberty League, which earned them the regular season conference crown. In the ECAC Upstate tournament quarterfinals, Hobart defeated SUNY Plattsburg 88-74 for the program's first postseason victory.