Full Circle: New Bedford Basketball Star Returns to UMass Dartmouth Coaching Staff
A familiar face is rejoining the UMass Dartmouth basketball team.
Brian Rudolph won't need to tour the campus. The former New Bedford High School and Loyola basketball star has sat courtside in the assistant coach's seat before. Or, more accurately, Rudolph has not sat in his designated seat. Instead, he's wandered back and forth like a panther waiting to strike.
What is Rudolph watching for?
UMass Darmouth's newest addition to the coaching staff knows it's "all about the little things" at this level. "These are guys that were 'the man' back in high school, but then they get to the collegiate level and the competition is so even. It's definitely back to the basics. You've got to get all the little things right to set you apart."
Rudoplh will be reunited with legendary UMass Dartmouth head coach Brian Baptiste, who has steered the Corsairs ship for decades.
Rudolph's first stint at coaching was with UMass Dartmouth years ago before he accepted the head coaching job at New Bedford High.
"Then I went back to UMass and then back to New Bedford High to be the varsity head coach, and now after being out of it for a few years, I'm going back to UMass again," he said.
Rudolph has spent the past three years running his Next Level Factory in Dartmouth, a gym that specializes in developing young athletes and sharpening their skills. In fact, several of the players on the UMass Dartmouth roster have come through Rudolph's program. While he won't be able to dedicate as much time there, it'll be "business as usual" at the gym.
How Will the Younger Rudolph Mesh with the Seasoned Baptiste?
"We definitely have different styles," Rudolph said. "That's why Coach Baptiste brought me in. I am a younger guy that brings something different to the table. He does a great job organizing our practice plans and it's up to his assistants to put our spin on it and have it make sense to an 18- to 22-year-old kid."
UMass Dartmouth has its first scrimmage of the year on Friday and opens the season at home against Connecticut College on Nov. 11.