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Aki Thomas drops interim tag, gets UMBC job permanently

Mar 4, 2013, 8:20 PM EDT

Aki Thomas

Well, there’s now one team that doesn’t have to worry about who will be coaching their program next year.

After taking over just two days before practice started for the 2012-13 season, Aki Thomas led Maryland-Baltimore County to a 7-22 record and a 5-11 mark in the America East Conference as interim head coach. That was good enough for Athletic Director Dr. Charles Brown, who officially removed the interim tag and gave Thomas the full-time gig on Monday.

“I have been impressed with Coach Thomas’ basketball acumen, as well as his positive approach with our student-athletes,” Dr. Brown said in a statement on the team’s website. “He has all the tools to be an outstanding head coach.”

Both the seven overall wins and five conference wins were the most for the Retrievers since the program went 15-17 overall and 7-9 in conference during the 2008-09 season. The program made its one and only trip to the NCAA Tournament the season before in 2007-08, winning the America East Conference tournament.

Thomas had spent the past three seasons as an assistant for UMBC before being named the interim coach. He spend three previous seasons as an assistant at Howard from 2004-07.

It’s a good thing for the program to have stability. It’ll help in recruiting, fund-raising and various other aspects over the off-season, whenever that comes for UMBC.

The Retrievers, who earned the no. 6 seed in the America East tournament, will play no. 3 seed Hartford in the first round at 2 p.m. Saturday in Albany, N.Y.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

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