12 minutes | Jun 5th 2017

Talking Sports and Fitness | Meet Rick Ferry

Albright College men's basketball coach Rick Ferry shares with the Zeke the story of the Lions' 2016-2017 season in which they surprisingly reached the MAC Commonwealth Championship Game despite finishing with a losing overall record at 13-14 but going 10-6 in the conference. Albright lost the title game to top-seeded Lycoming 76-62, but the fact that they even reached the title game was a remarkable turnaround. The Lions were struggling miserably on offense but the emergence of Fred Rowles as a scorer to complement leading scorer Dejuan Smith and Omari Ringgold fueled their strong finish. Smith, a junior, and Ringgold, a senior, were named to the All-MAC Commonwealth Men's Basketball Team -- Smith earning second-team honors and Ringgold making honorable mention. As for the turnaround as the season progressed, Ferry tells Zeke: “I don’t think you can point to one thing -- we’ve been on a rebuild for the past few years. We weren’t necessarily pretty but we were playing good, we had some good losses.” Ferry tells Zeke that a difficult non-conference schedule contributed to their sub .500 season. “I consciously built up our schedule this past year,” Ferry tells Zeke. “It doesn’t matter what our overall record is as long as we do well in the conference and have a shot at the NCAA playoffs. My boss looks at team GPA, retention and graduation rate before wins and losses.” The cost of attendance at a private college like Albright can make recruiting a challenge. “You can’t give scholarships in Division III,” Ferry says, then adds with a laugh: “If you’re really poor and really smart you will get a great financial aid package.” Regarding recruiting, Ferry tells Zeke: “You never know what will make a person tick. You want good work ethic. You want someone who is highly motivated.” When Zeke asks what gives him the most satisfaction in coaching, Ferry replies: “Watching these guys develop. They come in as 17- and 18-year-old boys and leave as 22-year-old men.”
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