HoopDirt.com first reported Cornell Assistant Marlon Sears involvement at Montclair State back on May 6th (Daily Dirt – 5/6/15). He has now been officially hired as the 15th head coach in the history of the program.
Sears comes to Montclair State following five seasons at Cornell University under head coach Bill Courtney. He became Courtney’s first hire when he accepted the job of recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010. Renowned as one of the nation’s top recruiters, Sears played important roles in every facet of the Big Red program. An excellent tactician in Xs and Os, he was widely considered a bridge builder among the players and staff in addition to being Courtney’s righthand man.
“I am excited for the opportunity to become the next head coach at Montclair State University,” said Sears. “The program has a tremendous amount of success throughout its history and I am looking forward to building on the great tradition that has been established here.”
Cornell’s first three recruiting classes under Sears included 2012 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Shonn Miller, as well as two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Robart Hatter, one of three freshmen starters in 2013-14. The Big Red increased its win total overall and in Ivy League play in both 2011-12 and 2012-13. Cornell defeated Patriot League champion Lehigh (who defeated Duke in the NCAA first round) and Ivy runner-up Princeton in 2011-12. Cornell was competitive in its losses as well that season, as six of the team’s losses coming by five points or less or in overtime, including a four-point loss at nationally ranked Illinois. The team also dropped single digit contests at Penn State and Maryland. Cornell built a strong homecourt advantage, going 10-3 at Newman Arena in 2011-12.
In five years at Cornell, Sears was instrumental in the development of six All-Ivy selections, including 2012 first-teamer Chris Wroblewski, the Big Red’s all-time assist leader. He was also a two-time Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American.
Sears has spent more than a decade as a Division I assistant, including stints at Binghamton, Wagner, High Point and fellow Ivy League school Columbia. While with the Lions (2009-10), Sears served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and worked primarily with the post players along with scouting and practice planning under head coach Joe Jones.
Prior to his time in Morningside Heights, Sears spent a year and a half at High Point, signing up a pair of recruiting classes that HoopScoop ranked in the top 100.
Sears was an assistant coach for two years at Wagner where he helped lead the Seahawks to a 23-8 record in 2007-08 (15-3 Northeast Conference). He helped to assemble two recruiting classes that were ranked within the top 100 by HoopScoop.
Sears got his start in the coaching ranks at Binghamton, where he spent five years as an assistant coach, helping lead the Bearcats into the upper echelon of the America East Conference. During his tenure at Binghamton, he coached two America East Defensive Players of the Year and helped lead the team to an 18-11 overall record and a 12-4 conference mark in 2005-06, his final season. While at Binghamton, Sears oversaw regional recruiting efforts in addition to administrating player academics, mentoring and player development.
“I look forward to working with Coach Sears as our next head men’s basketball coach,” said Director of Athletics Holly Gera. “His playing and coaching experience will be an asset to our program. We are excited to have him join the MSU Athletics family.”
A collegiate standout, Sears was named NAIA second-team All-America following his senior year at Newman University in Wichita, Kan. During his final college campaign, Sears averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists per game. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Sears began his collegiate career by spending two years at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kan. In his second season at Seward, he helped lead the squad to a 35-3 record and a third-place finish in the NJCAA Tournament. Sears spent his junior year at Western Illinois University, where he was a starter for the Leathernecks. Following graduation, Sears played two professional seasons overseas competing one season in the Spain LEB 2 League before prospering two more seasons in the National League in France.
Photo Courtesy Montclair State Athletics