“I can’t say how proud I am to be the committee’s selection,” Amaker said as he addressed a room full of Friends of Harvard Basketball, fellow Crimson coaches, representatives of various media outlets, and members of the men’s basketball team.
He was accompainied by his wife, Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker.
In his introductory remarks, Nichols Family Director of Athletics Bob Scalise connected the beginning of the Amaker era with the foundation of Harvard basketball 107 years ago.
“More than a century later, we are here today with that same optimism as our program is reborn with one of the best and most respected coaches in the country,” he said.
Amaker had been the head coach at Michigan for the past six years, accumulating a 109-83 record but failing to make the NCAA Tournament, before being fired after last season. Before that, he had been the head coach at Seton Hall for four years, reaching the Sweet Sixteen in 2000.
“I can’t thank you enough for this opportunity,” Amaker said. “I certainly feel like it is going to be a joyous ride.”
He replaces Frank Sullivan, who coached the Crimson for the past 16 seasons. Sullivan’s contract was not renewed at the end of last season.
Amaker met with the players last Friday morning to glowing reviews. He was offered the job on Monday and accepted on Wednesday.
“Tommy will be fantastic for Harvard and Harvard will be fantastic for Tommy,” Scalise quoted from Duke coach and Amaker mentor Mike Krzyzewski.
The Athletic Director also said Amaker has signed a five-year contract.
--Staff writer Ted Kirby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.