Coaching Changes for Panthers Basketball
June 20, 2014
The upcoming basketball season at Tompkins Cortland Community College will have some familiar faces in unfamiliar places. Director of Athletics Mick McDaniel has announced that David Stevenson has been appointed the head women's basketball coach and Rich Echevarria has been appointed the head men’s basketball coach. Stevenson has been the head men’s basketball coach for the past nine seasons; Echevarria has been one of his assistant coaches for the past three years.
Stevenson takes over the women’s program for Jaclyn Sutton, who stepped down after four years. Assistant coach Jeff Riker will remain on the women’s coaching staff; assistant coach Brian Carroll will remain with the men’s team.
"Coach Stevenson has proven to be one of the top coaches in our region, and I have every confidence that he will enjoy the same success with the women’s program that he had with the men’s,” said McDaniel. "Coach Echevarria is a fantastic recruiter and is dedicated to continuing the winning and sportsmanlike ways that are now synonymous with Panthers athletics. I fully expect great things for both programs."
Stevenson is the most successful basketball coach in Tompkins Cortland history. He took over a men’s program that had one winning season in its first 29 seasons and turned it into a consistent regional contender. His teams made the postseason five times, including the last three seasons. The Panthers won three Mid-State Athletic Conference championships, including the last two, and Stevenson was named the MSAC Coach of the Year three times. He won more games (123) than all the other men’s basketball coaches in the College's history combined, and is the only men’s basketball coach in College history with a winning percentage (.519).
"I'm very excited to take on the challenge of moving the women’s program forward," said Stevenson. "I’m equally excited to leave the men’s program to a former player and coach."
Echevarria is a former player at Tompkins Cortland and a graduate of the College’s sport management program. He has coached on the AAU level and a various college camps, and has been an assistant on Stevenson’s bench during the best three-year run in program history. During his time with the Panthers, Tompkins Cortland has a .675 winning percentage (54-26) and captured two straight conference titles. Those three years also saw the Panthers produce an all-American, four all-region selections, a two-time conference player of the year, and six all-conference selections.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue the tradition that has been started with Coach Stevenson,” said Echevarria. “I will work to build our student-athletes up to the best they can be, and prepare them to move to a four-year school, both on the court and academically.”