February 26, 2013 | 658 views
Coaching milestone for Malverne's Tomlin
Catching up with Bernard Tomlin is easier these days than it used to be.
The former Malverne High School star and NBA draft pick just completed his most successful season in a college basketball coaching career that’s spanned four decades and four states, guiding the SUNY-Old Westbury men’s team to 22 victories.
“We’ve always been competitive, but this has been an extra-special season,” said the 59-year-old Tomlin, who has led the Panthers to a record of 190-134 over a dozen campaigns. “We returned six of our top eight players after knocking on the door last season,” he added.
Led by double-digit scorers Tyrik Tucker (20.4 ppg), Kerel Mitchell (18.7), Rashawn McCarthy (14.6) and Josh Hill (13.8), Old Westbury reached the top of the Atlantic Region NCAA Division III rankings earlier this month. The Panthers suffered an 81-69 upset defeat to visiting Farmingdale State in the Skyline Conference semifinals on Feb. 21, but received a bid to the ECAC Metro Region Championship Tournament.
“We never shot that poorly before,” Tomlin said of the team’s season-worst 26-for-83 (31.3 percent) performance from the field, including 4-for-29 from three-point range. “It’s tough to beat a rival a third time,” he added.
Tomlin’s body of work also speaks for itself. After a brief stint in the real estate business and assistant coaching stops at Hofstra, St. Bonaventure and Duquesne, his head coaching career began in 1986-87 when he guided William Patterson to a 20-9 mark. He spent the following season coaching Adelphi before joining longtime friend and Malverne teammate Al Skinner at the University of Rhode Island as an assistant coach. Tomlin became Stony Brook’s head coach in 1991-92, going 17-10 in his first season and compiling 100 wins over eight seasons. His overall record now stands at 316-271.
“Even when I was playing, I always studied the game,” said Tomlin, who joined the 300-win club on Dec. 20 and recently picked up a third Skyline Conference Coach of the Year award. “I enjoy the chess part of it immensely,” he added.