SUNY Canton fills men's vacancy

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After building a career as an assistant coach at several southern scholarship programs, Ben Thompson is coming north – way north – to fill SUNY Canton’s coaching vacancy. He’ll be the Roos new men’s basketball head coach.

Athletic Director Randy B. Sieminski announced Thompson’s selection as the program’s second head coach since the school moved to NCAA Division III in 2014.

"Ben brings a wealth of top-level collegiate coaching experience along with an outstanding knowledge of the game and a desire to continue our program's fantastic growth," Sieminski said in a release. "I look forward to watching him develop our current team while also bringing in additional highly skilled recruits. Our collective goal is to develop this team into a nationally recognized program."

Thompson spent last season as an assistant at Division II Lincoln Memorial in Harrogate, Tennessee. The Railsplitters went 34-4, including 22-0 in conference, and reached the Division II national championship game where they lost to Augustana (S.D.).

Before that Thompson coached as an assistant at the Virginia Military Institute for one season and an assistant at Division II UNC Pembroke for three seasons. Thompson graduated from Virginia Tech in 2006 and worked on the Hokies’ staff as the video coordinator for one season. He also spent time at Division II St. Leo and UNC Greensboro.

"I am eager and excited to begin working with our student-athletes, administrators, and staff to build upon the recent success of Roos basketball," Thompson said. "We will be relentless in our pursuit of excellence on and off the court, as well as progressing SUNY Canton men's basketball to national prominence. I look forward to meeting and building relationships with our alumni, supporters and community."

Thompson replaces Jim Bechtel who moved to nearby SUNY Potsdam to become the Bears’ new head coach. The Roos went 20-4 last season as an independent and earned the sixth seed in the USCAA national tournament where they lost to Concordia-Alabama.