Saint Rose hoops in the rear view

ALBANY – The crowd for the frenzied College of Saint Rose basketball finale inside Nolan Gymnasium Saturday afternoon was standing room only.

Era ends on St. Rose campus

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“It’s just so heartwarming to see the love and that it mattered enough to so many people to be here today,” said Cathy Haker, retired Saint Rose Athletic Director and longtime women’s basketball coach.

It was 1976 when Haker first arrived at the Albany campus. One of the first things she noticed at the time was a family atmosphere.

“That has never gone away, and that’s part of what’s so special about Saint Rose,” Haker said. “It is a family, an extended family, and whether you see each other all the time or once in a while, or hardly ever, those bonds are there.”

“I knew Saint Rose was home for me the first day I walked on campus,” said Brian Beaury, current head basketball coach and former player.

Soon after Beaury became a freshmen point guard and captain on the Golden Knights team, he met his wife, Maryann, at Saint Rose. Two of his children later graduated from the school, and as his life played out, he managed to accumulate more than 650 career coaching victories.

“While I’m disappointed that it’s coming to an end, I’m grateful that it happened,” Beaury stated.

“It’s kind of heartbreaking,” said Mike Long, Sr., the school’s first men’s basketball coach.

There is no more legendary figure on the Saint Rose Campus than Long, whose coaching career began in the late 1970s.

“Running into so many people I’ve had some kind of lifelong contact with,” Long mentions as the top memory while attending the school’s last game. “It’s heartbreaking, but it’s great. It’s been a tremendous day.”

There are many things in life you hope will never end. Collecting memories on this college campus would be one of them.

“I think the emotions are all over the place to be honest,” said School VP and Athletic Director Lori Anctil. “I think there’s a lot of tears. Nobody wants to see this come to an end.”

Still to be determined as the college moves into shut down phase reality: what will happen to the dozens of banners that hang from the Nolan ceiling rafters? What becomes of the plaques, trophies, and photographs of Hall of Fame members whose achievement are commemorated in the Athletic Center display cases? Also where will the historic hardwood wind up that bears the name Mike Long, the man who started the basketball program so many memorable years ago?

In the spirit of transparency, the author of this story, NewsChannel 13’s Dan Levy was a member of the school’s basketball and baseball teams between 1978 and 1982.