Jim Baron
Jim Baron
Position: Head Coach
Experience: 11th year
Education: B.S., St. Bonaventure, '77 M.S., St. Bonaventure, '88

Coaching:
Assistant coach, Rochester, 1978-79
Assistant coach, Loyola (Md.), 1979-80
Assistant coach, St. Bonaventure, 1980-81
Assistant coach, Notre Dame, 1981-87
Head Coach, St. Francis (Pa.), 1987-92
Head Coach, St. Bonaventure, 1992-01
Head Coach, Rhode Island, 2001-present

 

Throughout Jim Baron's head coaching career, he has consistently built programs from the ground up. Baron's foundation to success includes many factors to develop student-athletes, on and off the court; tireless work toward improving as a basketball player; academic diligence; and physical, mental, and emotional growth. Baron believes those three principles will ultimately lead to success over the student-athletes' career at the University of Rhode Island. Over the last five seasons, the Rams have won 109 games - the most victories in program history in a five-year time span. The success on the court has seen URI average over 22 wins a season, including three trips to the National Invitation Tournament and a spot in the finals of the 2007 Atlantic 10 Championship. This past season, the Runnin' Rams reached the 20-win mark for the fourth consecutive season, advancing to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational. Delroy James (second team All-Atlantic 10) and Marquis Jones (Atlantic 10 All-Defensive team) wrapped up their careers, along with classmates Will Martell and Ben Eaves, as the winningest players in Rhody basketball history. During the 2009-10 campaign, URI won 26 games - second-most in program history - and advanced to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals of the 2010 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Led by All-Atlantic 10 third team selections Keith Cothran and Delroy James, the Rams improved on their win total for the fifth consecutive year. Additionally, through Baron's guidance, the Runnin' Rams have made a return to the Ryan Center hardwood. Rhode Island ranked 10th nationally in points per game during the 2008-09 season, pouring in 79.3 points per game. Over the last three seasons, URI ranked among the highest scoring teams in the nation, averaging just under 80.0 points per game. During the 2008-09 season, Rhody compiled a 23-11 record, advancing to the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Picked to finish ninth according to the conference coaches preseason poll, URI posted an 11-5 mark in Atlantic 10 play - good for the second seed in the A-10 Championship. For his efforts, Baron earned his fourth career A-10 Coach of the Year honor. He previously earned top A-10 coaching honors at St. Bonaventure in 1995 and three times at URI - in 2003, 2007, and 2009. Only Hall of Famer John Chaney of Temple has earned more A-10 Coach of the Year awards, with five (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000). In June 2009, Baron was also honored by his alma mater - St. Bonaventure - by being inducted into its Athletics Hall of Fame as a standout student-athlete and coach. Baron's coaching has also yielded high accolades for his players. During the 2008-09 season, Jimmy Baron was named a First Team Lowe's Senior CLASS Award All-American selection, while also earning First Team All-Atlantic 10 honors. Off the court, he became just the second player in URI history to be named an Academic All-American. Additionally, Kahiem Seawright earned Third Team All-A-10 honors, while Delroy James was named the Atlantic 10's Sixth Man of the Year. Two players - Will Daniels and Parfait Bitee - were honored by the Atlantic 10 Conference at the conclusion of the 2007-08 season for their outstanding play. Daniels earned a spot on the watch list for two prestigious national awards: the Naismith and the Lowe's Senior CLASS awards. He was named to the 2007-08 All-Atlantic 10 First Team - the first URI player since 1997-98 (Tyson Wheeler) and just the third in program history (Carlton "Silk" Owens) to earn consecutive spots on the all-league first team roster. Bitee was one of five players honored as part of the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive squad. During the 2007-08 campaign, Baron reached two major coaching milestones. On Nov. 28, 2007 he won his 300th career game as a head coach, when the Rams took a 92-72 victory over Northeastern at the Ryan Center. Later in the season, Baron became the fourth coach in University of Rhode Island history to reach the triple-digit mark in victories, garnering win #100 in the game against Georgia Southern on Dec. 29, 2007. From Dec. 24, 2007-Jan. 21, 2008 - Baron guided the Rams to the program's first national rankings in close to a decade. URI reached as high as #22 on the Associated Press poll and #20 on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. It was the first time Rhode Island spent four consecutive weeks in the national rankings since the 1997-98 season. Baron also guided the 2007-08 Rams to the best start in the program's 101-year history, racing out to a 14-1 mark through the first 15 games. The squad was also the fastest in URI history to reach the 20-win mark, with its win at Fordham on Feb. 10, 2008. It was the third 20-win season for Baron while at the helm of the Rams. Over the last eight years, 26 of his student-athletes have earned their degrees, including all four seniors in the class of 2011. To Baron, success includes winning on the court in March and on graduation day in May. Academics are such a strong focal point for Baron that all student-athletes receive a booklet that clearly defines what is expected of them off the court. Comprising six rules, 10 goals, and 16 expectations ranging from academics and appearance to character and conditioning, it is an owner's manual for winners. Such attention to detail brings discipline and order to the program. He has restored a high level of respectability on the court as well. When Baron came to Kingston in 2001, Baron inherited a team coming off a dismal 12-48 stretch. It was a program in disarray, but it did not take long for Baron to find the winning touch. After struggling to an 8-20 mark in his first season, Rhode Island went 20-11 in 2002-03, advancing to the second round of the NIT. The quick and impressive turnaround earned Baron Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honors in just his second season in Kingston. Baron's success carried over to the 2003-04 season, as the Rams posted a 20-14 mark and again advanced to the second round of the NIT. Included in the stretch run was a visit from Dick Vitale and the ESPN college basketball crew, who traveled to Kingston for a nationally televised game between the Rams and then-undefeated and #2 ranked Saint Joseph's. The 2004-05 team played to a 14-14 overall record, including an 8-8 mark in Atlantic 10 play - good for seventh in the conference. The record includes a win over in-state rivals Providence and Brown, while also stringing together a five-game win streak in A-10 play in January, despite losing preseason first-team All-Atlantic 10 Dawan Robinson along with projected starter Jamaal Wise prior to the start of the season. In all, players missed nearly 100 games due to injury. Baron's 2006-07 team was picked to finish 11th according to the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll. But the team defied the predictions, spending most of the season atop the A-10 standings. URI entered the 2007 conference championship with the #4 seed and advanced all the way to the championship game on ESPN before losing to George Washington. Will Daniels earned a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 First Team, while Jimmy Baron was an honorable mention selection. For his efforts, Baron earned his third career A-10 Coach of the Year award. Baron's success in Kingston follows a similar pattern throughout his 22-year head coaching career. When the former Bonnies standout returned to lead St. Bonaventure in 1992, the program was far from its glory days. Baron rebuilt the program and was rewarded with top coaching honors. In the three years prior to Baron's arrival, the Bonnies had gone 22-60 (.262). In his third season at St. Bonaventure (1994-95), Baron guided the team to an 18-13 mark and a trip to the NIT. For his efforts, Baron earned his first Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year award. And in his final two seasons, Baron led the Bonnies to a 39-21 mark, including the school's first NCAA bid in 22 years. His 1999-2000 team went 21-10, reached the Atlantic 10 tournament final for only the second time in school history and became a Cinderella story in the NCAA tournament. In a memorable first-round game, the Bonnies battled heavily favored Kentucky into double overtime before falling, 85-80. Besides earning three trips to the postseason (1 NCAA bid, 2 NIT) and posting a 132-131 mark. Baron graduated 95 percent of his players at St. Bonaventure. At St. Francis (Pa.), it was 100 percent. At St. Francis (Pa.), Baron took over a program that has posted six consecutive losing seasons and were a long way from the days of the late great Maurice Stokes. By 1990-91, Baron led the Red Flash to the NCAA Tournament, the the only NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. As a student-athlete, Baron was a standout guard at St. Bonaventure from 1973-77. The Bonnies went 73-28 over his four years, capped by a 24-6 record and the NIT championship in 1976-77. Co-captain as a senior, he led the club in assists, made the dean's list, and won the coveted title Ideal St. Bonaventure Student, the highest honor bestowed by the university. He graduated in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and added a master's degree in counseling in 1988. Baron began his coaching career at the high school level at Aquinas in Rochester. The coaching trail also took him to stops at Rochester, Loyola (Md.), St. Bonaventure and Notre Dame to fill in the pieces of his coaching resume before he landed his first collegiate head coaching job at St. Francis. On the international level, Baron coached the Panamanian national team to a 37-13 record in five seasons. The squad competed in the 1982 World Cup, the 1983 Latin American championships, the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1992 Pre-Olympics. Off the court, Baron has always found time for community activities. For the last 18 years, he has helped run the basketball clinics for Special Olympians held at each Final Four. Baron has also spent summers at the Green Valley Youth Camp for troubled youth in upstate New York. Since coming to Rhode Island, Baron has raised money for the families of New York City firefighters killed on September 11, 2001 and the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic Station nightclub fire in Warwick, R.I. in 2003. He has taken an active role in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising drive. He has spoken to civic groups, hosted his TV and radio shows, run a summer basketball camp, and continued to serve on the international committee of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Baron and his wife Cindy, an accomplished painter whose watercolors have been exhibited throughout the country, have two sons, Jimmy - a standout guard who graduated from Rhode Island in 2009 - and Billy, a sophomore guard at Rhode Island.

Updated Sept. 21, 2011

Updated Sept. 21, 2011