Geoff Arnold

Geoff Arnold

Everything is looking great for Geoff Arnold. He’s now officially the new assistant men’s basketball coach at Rider University and he’s looking forward to working under former St. Joseph’s University teammate and close friend Kevin Baggett.

Just a few months ago, the opportunity to be part of collegiate basketball was almost non existent for Arnold.

A former standout guard at Darby Township High School and St. Joe’s, Arnold was booted off Hawk Hill along with longtime head coach Phil Martelli in March. Arnold, who has been an assistant at both the University of Massachusetts and SJU, was long thought to be the heir apparent to Martelli’s job.

Arnold had just completed his 11th year on Martelli’s staff after rejoining SJU for the 2008-09 season. In a bold move, first-year SJU Athletic Director Jill Bodensteiner fired Martelli after 24 years. Bodensteiner, who came from Notre Dame, succeeded Don DiJulia. DiJulia had spent 35 of his 50 years in college athletics as Saint Joseph’s athletic director.

Martelli had a 425–303 record at SJU but the 64-year-old had worn out his welcome. St. Joe’s was 14-19 last season, its third consecutive losing campaign. Since 2004, the Hawks have made only three NCAA Tournament appearances.

In short, he was preparing for the next opportunity. That chance came when Baggett called about the assistant coaching vacancy at Rider. Now, Arnold is a Bronc. Rider will play at Temple University on Dec. 21.

“I’m excited about the opportunity that is before me,” Arnold said. “I’m looking forward to learning and teaching.”

dbell@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5746

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