Temple University’s new head basketball coach Aaron McKie has hired Monté Ross as the associate head coach for the Owls’ basketball program. Ross brings 23 years of Division I coaching experience with 10 of those years as the head coach of the University of Delaware. His knowledge and experience makes him a great addition to the Temple basketball team.
“I’m extremely excited, thankful, humble that he would ask me to come and join his staff,” Ross said. “It’s a very humbling venture. I’m just so excited about this opportunity.
“I think having grown up around the corner basically from Temple and being back there is a really special thing. Then, you put on top of that the relationship that Aaron and I have had for the better part of 30 years. To be back and working along side of him and trying to help him in any way I can is just something that doesn’t happen every day. When this [opportunity] came about, I was chomping at the bit to take advantage of it and get started.”
Ross hasn’t been the team’s only hire. Jimmy Fenerty has also joined McKie’s staff as an assistant coach. Fenerty, the son of Hall of Fame Germantown Academy coach Jim Fenerty, returns to Temple where he worked as a graduate manger from 2013-15. Since leaving Temple, Fenerty worked four years as an assistant coach at Lafayette University under head coach Fran O’Hanlon.
Ross was the head coach of Delaware for 10 seasons (2006-16) and his 132 victories were second most in Delaware men’s basketball history. He led the Blue Hens to one of their finest seasons in program history in 2013-14, posting a 25-10 record picking up a Colonial Athletic Association regular season (14-2) and a tournament championship. It was the fifth NCAA tournament appearance in school history and the first since 1999. Ross was named the 2014 CAA Coach of the Year as well as the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Clarence “Big House” Gaines Division I Coach of the Year and the National Association of Basketball Coaches UPS District 10 Coach of the Year.
In addition, Ross led Delaware to another postseason tournament in 2011-12, guiding the Blue Hens to an 18-14 record. It was the Blue Hens’ first winning record in eight seasons and it produced a berth in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). He coached 13 all-conference players during his years at Delaware.
Prior to becoming a head coach at Delaware, he had an impressive stint as an assistant coach. At Saint Joseph’s, he spent 10 years as an assistant and was a big contributor to the Hawks’ ‘perfect season” in 2003-04. Saint Joseph’s advanced to the Final Eight and went 27-0 in the regular season and was ranked ranked No. 1 in the country before finishing the year with a 30-2 record. He was a part of seven postseason teams on Hawk Hill including four NCAA tournament appearances.
Ross’ career includes a two-year stop as an assistant coach at Drexel University (1994-96) where he played a part in the Dragons’ first-ever NCAA tournament victory, a 75-63 first-round upset of the Memphis in 1996. He spent one season as an assistant at Lehigh (1993-94).
Ross was a terrific basketball player at William W. Bodine High School for International Affairs. He was an All-Public League standout in 1987 and 88. He played in the Sonny Hill League. He played his college basketball at Winston-Salem State for the legendary Gaines.
Ross is joining the staff at a great time. Temple is coming off a 23-10 season that saw the Owls land a spot in the NCAA tournament.
“I was excited to see what they were able to accomplish this year,” Ross said. You know losing Shizz Alston and Ernie Aflakpui is a big blow, but with the pieces coming back, it’s really an exciting time and I am happy to be joining and helping any way that I can.”