Earlier this week, Michael Harding
, Biko Paris
and Nick Leonardelli
were officially announced as assistant coaches for Pat Duquette
and the UMass Lowell Men's Basketball team.
Harding comes to UMass Lowell after three years as the head coach of the Saint Michael's College men's basketball program. During the 2010-11 season, Harding's first as a college head coach, he led Saint Michael's to the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament for the first time since 2007 and earned a road win in the first round of the play-offs.
“It is an exciting time to be joining the team at UMass Lowell,” said Harding. “Pat Duquette
has a terrific vision for the program and I look forward to learning from him on a daily basis.”
Formerly, Harding served as the Associate Head Coach for Stonehill. In 2009-10 he played a vital role in an outstanding year for the Skyhawks. Stonehill spent the season ranked as one of the nation's top Division II programs, winning the NE-10 regular season championship, and hosting the NCAA Regional Tournament as the East region's top seed.
“Getting Mike to join our staff was an absolute homerun,” said UMass Lowell head coach Pat Duquette
. “He is an incredibly bright and driven person with head coaching experience that I will lean heavily on.”
Prior to his arrival at Stonehill, Harding was the assistant coach at his alma mater, Division III Bowdoin College.
A four-year member of the Bowdoin men's basketball team, Harding captained the Polar Bears as a senior. He was the recipient of the Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar Award for academic excellence, as well as being selected as the Lenox Foundation Book Award honoree for his exemplary scholarship. He also earned the Hixon Memorial Leadership Prize in his senior year.
Harding earned a bachelor's degree in government and legal studies from Bowdoin in 2003. He went on to earn a master's degree in education from Tufts University in 2007.
joins the UMass Lowell coaching staff with an impressive basketball record. A four-year player for Boston College, Paris averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists during his senior year in 2010-11.
“I am honored to join the UMass Lowell River Hawks as they enter into the Divison I level of play,” said Paris. “I am excited to meet the Lowell community and hope to see all of the fans at the games next season.”
“Biko played for me at Boston College and I knew he would be a great coach someday,” said Duquette. “His basketball IQ, winning attitude and leadership are even more visible in his coaching style.”
During his junior year at Boston College, he ranked among ACC leaders in assists and in assist-turnover ratio (1.7).
As a sophomore, he earned the program's Frank Power Award, which is given to the player who exemplifies dedication, loyalty, spirit and love to the Boston College basketball program.
Paris played his high school ball at the Cypress Community Christian School where he earned multiple honors and led the Warriors to back-to-back TAPPS 4A state titles.
In his junior and senior seasons, Paris earned TAPPS All-State 4A first-team honors.
In November of 2006, the guard gained MVP honors after leading Cypress Christian to the St. Thomas Invitational Title.
comes to UMass Lowell after holding the Manager of Basketball Operations title for the Bucknell Bisons for the past two seasons. While at Bucknell, the program set a two-year school record with 53 wins.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to coach at UMass Lowell and work for Coach Duquette,” said Leonardelli. “It is an exciting time as we join the America East Conference.”
Leonardelli was in charge of coordinating team travel, compliance, film exchange, coordinating events, post game analysis, purchasing and other day-to-day team logistics. He was also head of administrative duties with the program's summer camps and annual summer golf fundraiser.
During Leonardelli's two years with the Bison's, the basketball program won the Patriot League Regular Season Championship in back-to-back seasons (2012, 2013) and made two Tournament finals appearances, winning in 2013.
In that same season, the men's basketball team set a school record for wins with a 28-6 record before ultimately falling to Butler in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2012, the Bisons defeated Arizona to advance to the second round of the NIT Tournament.
“Nick is an incredibly hard worker who is going to have a long and successful coaching career,” said Duquette. “He brings a wide variety of experiences in both coaching and operations at all levels of college basketball.”
In 2010, he was an assistant coach at St. Michael's College in Burlington, Vt., where he helped the Purple Knights to 10 Northeast-10 Conference victories -- double their total from the previous year -- and their first postseason victory in four years.
In 2009-10, Leonardelli served as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence, where he was part of a Liberty League championship team that made it to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
From 2007-09, Leonardelli was a graduate assistant at Rutgers-Newark, where he was part of a team that reached the New Jersey Athletic Conference finals for the first time in program history and also made two ECAC Tournament appearances.
The Mendham, NJ native and West Morris Mendham High School graduate received a master's degree from Rutgers-Newark in May 2009.
Leonardelli is a 2007 graduate of Dickinson College, where he was a four-year basketball letterman and team captain as a senior.