Aug. 2, 2010

Courtesy of Plymouth St. Athletics

PLYMOUTH, N.H. –
Plymouth State University has filled the vacancy in its men’s basketball office with the announcement of a new head coach to take over the Panther program.

Damien Strahorn, an assistant coach at Columbia University the past four years, has been named the 12th head coach in the 64-year history of the Panther men’s basketball program.  Strahorn is a former all-star player at Colby College in Maine, where he also served four years as an assistant coach before joining the staff at Columbia.  Strahorn takes over from John Scheinman, who stepped down in May to take a position in PSU’s Advancement office.

“I am honored to be selected as the next head men's basketball coach at Plymouth State University,” said Strahorn.  “I am excited to tackle the challenges of building a championship-level program.  Coach Scheinman has done an excellent job during his 10-year tenure, and I am excited to begin working with our players and the campus community to build on the past successes of the program. I'm confident we can work together to elevate the program to new heights.”

Strahorn was the longest-tenured assistant coach at Columbia on the staff of former head coach Joe Jones. They coached the Lions to the most Ivy League wins for Columbia during a three-year span since 1994 and helped them tie for most wins in one season in 30 years with a 16-12 mark in 2006-07.   Strahorn was named interim head coach at Columbia last April when Coach Jones left to become the associate head coach at Boston College.

“We are excited to welcome Damien Strahorn as our new head men’s basketball coach,” said PSU athletic director John Clark.  “Our search committee had a very difficult decision because there were a number of outstanding candidates, but Damien emerged as the clear choice.  He is extremely knowledgeable and qualified in all areas of coaching basketball, and we look forward to him leading our men’s basketball program and being a member of the Plymouth community.”

In the four years Strahorn was at Columbia, the team had the best four-year record since 1980.  He coached and helped develop three All-Ivy League players, three All-Metropolitan players, including the first Columbian to earn first team All-Metropolitan area honors since 1993, and an Academic All-American. Strahorn went to Columbia after serving as an assistant for four years at Colby under veteran under head coach Dick Whitmore.

“I would specifically like to thank John Clark and the committee members for the tremendous opportunity they have offered me,” added Strahorn.  “I would also like to thank two Plymouth State alumni, Seth Peloso and Nick Pelotte, for their help and support through the process.  It is apparent that the basketball program already has a strong alumni base and I look forward to meeting and working with as many alumni as possible.”

A native of Menlo Park, California, Strahorn graduated from Colby in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in economics and a minor in administrative services. As a two-year player at Colby, Strahorn was captain of the men’s basketball team and was named First Team All-NESCAC and Second Team All-New England after averaging 22.9 points per game in his senior season.