Saginaw Valley State hires Randy Baruth as new basketball coach (updated)

May 17, 2012 in Division II

By Patrick Hayes

Saginaw Valley State announced today that it has hired Utah assistant coach Randy Baruth as its new head coach. A press conference is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Here is Baruth’s bio from the University of Utah website:

He joined the Utes after two years as the Director of Basketball Operations at Colorado State. Baruth’s primary responsibilities will include directing camps and coaching clinics, team video coordination and travel.

Baruth spent two years at Colorado State after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Northern State University under Don Meyer, the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history. In 2007-08, NSU posted a 29-4 record and was ranked among the NCAA Div. II Top 25 for nearly the entire season. Prior to his time with the Wolves, Baruth was a graduate assistant at North Dakota State from 2002-04.

Baruth earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Dakota Weslyan University in 2000. He then went on to receive a master’s degree in education leadership in 2004, also from Dakota Weslyan.

Baruth’s organizational skills were noted during his time at Utah. He takes over for Frankie Smith, who stepped down after the season, and left a program that has had just two winning seasons in the last decade. The team does return its three leading scores from last season — Chris Webb, Greg Foster and Michael Fugate. In fact, the team doesn’t lose anyone who played significant minutes last season to graduation.

Kyle Austin of MLive attended the press conference and got comments from several people, including Webb:

Chris Webb, a senior guard from Arthur Hill who was a member of the search committee, said he thinks Baruth’s hiring bodes well for the program in the long run.
“I just like what he brought to the table, his knowledge of basketball,” Webb said. “I feel like not only will we be successful this year,  I feel like we can take this program in the right direction for down the line.”
There’s always some uncertainty hiring a first-time head coach, but I do like that SVSU included a player on their search committee. Having the players themselves feel like they had a say in who would coach them is the right message to send.