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Sears Steps Down as Men's Basketball Coach; Takes New Role at Columbia

Montclair, NJ – Montclair State head men's basketball coach Marlon Sears has stepped down from his position to become the Associate Head Coach at Columbia University. It will be a return to the Ivy League school for Sears, who spent the 2009-10 season with the Lions as the team's recruiting coordinator. He also worked primarily with the post players along with scouting and practice planning. Sears recently completed his fourth season at MSU leading his squad to a 17-10 mark and a second straight berth in the NJAC Tournament semifinals. He compiled a 59-46 record in his four years. The 2017-18 squad registered an 18-9 mark, its highest win total since 2011 and finished fourth in the NJAC at 11-7, the 11 conference wins the most by the Red Hawks in a decade. The fourth-place finish earned Montclair a home game in the NJAC Tournament for the first time since 2008 and the Red Hawks played in the semifinals for the first time in seven years. Sears' team was not only won games, but they did it in exciting fashion with a blend of up-tempo basketball combined with the basic elements of defense and rebounding. The Red Hawks ranked among the Top 3 in the league in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point field goal defense and led both the NJAC and the nation in the rebounding margin at 12.2 per contest. Montclair State also averaged 79.1 points per contest, its highest single-season average in 24 years. In his first season Sears led a young and inexperienced Montclair State team to an 11-13 record that included five games decided by four points or less, including a three-point loss on the final day of the regular-season that kept Montclair one-game short of making the NJAC Tournament. The following year, the Red Hawks took another step forward going 13-13, its first .500 season in five years. MSU also posted a 10-8 mark in conference play and was the No. 5 seed in the NJAC Tournament, its first appearance in three years. Sears came to Montclair State following five seasons at Cornell University under head coach Bill Courtney. He became Courtney's first hire when he accepted the job of recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2010. Renowned as one of the nation's top recruiters, Sears played important roles in every facet of the Big Red program. An excellent tactician in Xs and Os, he was widely considered a bridge builder among the players and staff in addition to being Courtney's right-hand man. Sears has spent more than a decade as a Division I assistant, including stints at Binghamton, Wagner, and High Point. Sears got his start in the coaching ranks at Binghamton, where he spent five years as an assistant coach, helping lead the Bearcats into the upper echelon of the America East Conference. During his tenure at Binghamton, he coached two America East Defensive Players of the Year and helped lead the team to an 18-11 overall record and a 12-4 conference mark in 2005-06, his final season. While at Binghamton, Sears oversaw regional recruiting efforts in addition to administrating player academics, mentoring and player development. A collegiate standout, Sears was named NAIA second-team All-America following his senior year at Newman University in Wichita, Kan. During his final college campaign, Sears averaged 22 points, nine rebounds and six assists per game. He graduated in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.

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