Thomas More goes across river for coach

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Justin Ray

Mount St. Joseph assistant coach Justin Ray will move across the Ohio River to become the new head men's basketball coach at Thomas More and lead the Saints through its transition to whatever the future holds for the program.

Ray replaces Drew Cooper, who resigned from the position to accept the head coaching job at Division II Kentucky Wesleyan.

Ray worked as an assistant under Mount St. Joseph head coach Toby Carrigan the past seven seasons. The Cincinnati native also worked for two seasons as a graduate assistant at Division I Wright State and one season as an assistant coach at his alma mater Christian Brothers University, a Division II school in Memphis.

"We are extremely excited to have Justin Ray take over our men's basketball program," Thomas More athletic director Terry Connor said in the school's release.  "He has a tireless work ethic and with his deep ties to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky basketball community he has helped establish a successful program at Mount St. Joseph." 

Ray takes over a Saints program that is coming off two successful seasons but faces an uncertain future. Thomas More won the PAC tournament the past two seasons and at least a share of the regular season title both seasons. The Saints finished atop the PAC standings with a 23-6, 16-2 mark last season before losing to John Carroll in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Thomas More will leave the PAC at the end of this academic year and compete as a Division III independent in 2018-19. Earlier this week the Saints were admitted to join the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) beginning in 2019-20, but the school has not made a final decision on whether to accept the invitation and leave the NCAA.