Emmitsburg, Md. (September 12, 2014) -- Mount St. Mary's Athletic Director Lynne Robinson announced the contract extension of women's basketball Head Coach Bryan Whitten on Friday. Whitten, who is entering his eighth season with the Mount in 2014-15, guided the Mountaineers to 19 wins and the program's first-ever bid to the WNIT a year ago. Additionally, Whitten has named Adam Surguine as director of basketball operations.
"We are very pleased to extend our contract with Coach Bryan Whitten," Robinson said. "Bryan's leadership of the women's basketball program and his commitment to the success of our student-athletes, both academically and athletically has been exceptional. We are excited for the future of our program under Bryan's direction, and we look to build upon the tremendous accomplishments of the team over the past two seasons."
Under Whitten's tutelage, the Mount has increased its win total in each of the last three seasons and restored its place among the Northeast Conference's elite programs. Since the start of the 2011-12 campaign, Whitten's Mountaineers have gone 33-21 in NEC play with three NEC Tournament berths, including back-to-back trips to the NEC Semifinals for the first time since 2000 and 2001. Over the last two seasons, the Mount is tied for the most overall wins among NEC programs with 34.
During his tenure in Emmitsburg, Whitten has coached four 1,000-point scorers, most recently helping 2014 graduate Sydney Henderson finish seventh in school history with 1,489 career points.
The 2013-14 campaign proved to be one of the best for Whitten with the Mount. A veteran with 19 years of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level at Division III King's and the Mount, Whitten collected his 300th career victory in February. His Mountaineers posted 19 wins, which were the most since the 1999-00 season, while the 19-14 mark was the first winning season since 2000-01. The Mount secured the second seed in the NEC regular season to earn the right to host a home playoff game for the first time since 2002.
Last season also featured the Mount's first-ever WNIT berth, marking the first time playing beyond the NEC Tournament since qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 1995.
Whitten is the fifth head coach in the Mount's rich 41-year history of women's basketball. Prior to his arrival in Emmitsburg, Whitten served as an assistant coach at VCU for two seasons after a 12-year stint as the head coach at King's.
"Coaching at the Mount is the place I want to be," Whitten said. "I have enjoyed every minute of my time here, and I am excited to continue to lead our women's basketball program. I am extremely grateful to President Powell, Executive Vice President Soller, and Lynne Robinson for their confidence and support. I am also thankful for the players I've had the opportunity to coach. Building a 'Family' has always been my highest priority, and I feel my players know they always have a home here at the Mount. I'm looking forward to seeing the great things we can accomplish in the future."
As the director of basketball operations for Whitten's staff, Surguine will assist in coordinating team travel and managing film exchange, as well as serving as an academic mentor, and organizing camps, clinics and community service.
"Adam is an outstanding person who will contribute greatly, and already has, to our program," Whitten commented. "He has some fresh, original ideas, and is a real go-getter who gets things done. I look forward to his contributions and to watching him continue to grow and improve."
Surguine makes his way to the Mount after serving as an assistant coach for the women's program at his alma mater, Lancaster Bible College. Following a two-year playing career for the Chargers' men's basketball team, Surguine worked two years as a student assistant with LBC's women's team.
Upon graduation in 2010, Surguine moved into an assistant coaching position with the women's program for four seasons. After posting records of 12-15 and 15-13 in his first two years, LBC enjoyed a breakout 2012-13 season highlighted by a 24-5 record en route to the team's first North Eastern Athletic Conference Championship and berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Chargers followed up with a 23-7 mark in Surguine's final season in 2013-14, finishing as the NEAC runner-up and placing fifth at the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II Championships.
Surguine has gained vital experience along the way by helping to run basketball camps at Lancaster Bible as well as working at camps at West Chester, Towson, Maryland, American and Notre Dame.
Surguine is the second addition to Whitten's staff since the conclusion of last season. Melissa Kolbe, who spent the previous six seasons as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky, was hired to serve as Whitten's top assistant and recruiting coordinator in June. Kolbe also has experience at the Division I level from her time on staff at East Carolina and Mercer.
The Mount opens the 2014-15 season on the road at Maryland on Nov. 14.