Niagara Gazette

Sports

October 31, 2006

SILVERBACKS: Jacob steps down as coach unexpectedly

AMHERST — Niagara Falls native Rich Jacob resigned as general manager and head coach of Buffalo’s minor league basketball franchise Tuesday.

“I’m stepping down from the Silverbacks,” Jacob said. “It came down to a professional career choice and I chose Medaille.”

Jacob, who chairs the Sport Management department at Medaille College in Buffalo, said both positions require fulltime attention and he could no longer provide that. He coached the Silverbacks — then known as the Rapids — to an 11-17 record in 2005-06, their first season in the reincarnated American Basketball Association.

“I still believe in the Silverbacks and their initiatives, and I still believe that professional basketball belongs in Buffalo,” Jacob said.

Niagara Falls native and former LaSalle star Modie Cox, currently serving as assistant coach, said Tuesday night that he will not assume Jacob’s position. Cox, who also plays point guard for the team, reserved further comment for Wednesday, when the team is expected to announce its new coach.

Silverbacks owner Todd Wier did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday night.

The Silverbacks are scheduled to open the ’06-’07 season Nov. 8 against the Detroit Shock at Buffalo State. They’ve been practicing under Jacob for more than a week, and have announced the signing of eight players, including former Williamsville North star Sean Murphy.

A 1976 Bishop Duffy/Niagara Catholic graduate, Jacob has coached at Niagara University, Niagara County Community College, the University at Buffalo, Villa Maria College, Daemen College, Buffalo State and Medaille.

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