GENEVA, N.Y. — Hobart College Director of Athletics Mike Hanna announced that Mike Neer, the former Rochester head coach with 563 career victories to his credit, will end a one-year retirement to return to the hardwood as the head coach of the Statesmen. He replaces Izzi Metz ’98, who resigned earlier this month to accept the director of basketball operations job at Boston College.
“As a teacher, leader, citizen and teammate Mike Neer is the perfect fit for Hobart Athletics and Hobart Basketball,” Hanna said. “Along with our players and fans, I’m deeply grateful to Izzi Metz for the superb shape in which he’s leaving our program and equally excited about the future of Hobart basketball under Coach Neer’s leadership. All of us – the players, our coaches and our support staff – stand to grow from Mike’s experience and his commitment to small college athletics and especially to the coaching profession.”
The Yellowjackets’ career wins leader, Neer led Rochester to 12 NCAA tournament appearances, including four trips to the Final Four, three championship games, and the 1990 national championship. When he retired following the 2009-10 season, he boasted a 563-326 record (.633). Neer is tied for 12th place in NCAA Division III men’s basketball history for the most career victories and will be ninth among active coaches when he makes his Bristol Gym debut on Nov. 15 against Ithaca.
At the 2011 National Association of Basketball Coaches, Neer received the NABC’s Outstanding Service Award. A three-time University Athletic Association Coach of the Year, he was voted the NABC Division III National Coach of the Year in 1990. His Rochester teams were honored four times with the Sam Schoenfeld Award for outstanding sportsmanship as selected by members of the Western New York State chapter of the College Basketball Officials Association (CBOA). In the spring of 2010, CBOA presented its national Sam Schoenfeld Award to the University.
In 1992, Neer received the Elliott Cushing Award from the Rochester Press-Radio Club for the local person who has excelled on a national level. The award came after Rochester’s three-year run in the NCAA Division III tournament that resulted in a national championship (1990), an Elite 8 appearance (1991), and a national runner-up finish (1992).
Neer has mentored seven All-Americans and seven CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
While a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Neer began his coaching career at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he served as an assistant coach for five seasons.
A 1970 graduate of Washington and Lee University, Neer earned a master’s degree in education from Rochester in 1988.