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Your Guide to GW sports

Sunday, March 4, 2012 3:14 p.m.

Two Atlantic 10 programs announce basketball coaching changes

Junior forward Dwayne Smith reaches for the basket during a January game against Rhode Island. | Hatchet File Photo

The Rhode Island men’s basketball program and Saint Louis women’s basketball program both announced the dismissal of their respective head coaches this weekend.

Jim Baron, head coach of the Rams, was dismissed today after a season where Rhode Island went 7-24 and failed to make the A-10 tournament. The New York Times reported that a source confirmed Baron’s departure, and said Rhode Island officials met with the basketball team Sunday afternoon to inform them of the decision.

Prior to this season, the Rams had won 20 games for four consecutive seasons, and the source told the Times that the program’s decline this year, and Baron’s failure to make the NCAA tournament during his tenure, lead to the dismissal. Baron had two years left on his contract

The Colonials picked up their first A-10 victory of the season over Rhode Island Jan. 11, defeating the Rams 69-61. Baron’s son, sophomore guard Billy Baron, who was explosive offensively against GW, remains on the Rhode Island team.

Rhode Island became the second A-10 university to announce a coaching change this weekend following the dismissal of Shimmy Gray-Miller from the helm of the Saint Louis women’s basketball program.The Billikens’ season ended with a loss to Dayton in the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament, bringing Gray-Miller’s career record to 71-136 after seven years with the program. Saint Louis intends to begin a national search for a replacement, its athletic director Chris May announced.

GW defeated Saint Louis 68-58 Jan. 25, a victory that saw the Colonials battle through their depth challenges, only suiting six for the contest.