Verdell hired as new men’s basketball coach, assistant athletic director


JSC Athletics

Tommy Verdell

A new member has joined the administration team at the Carter Gym and SHAPE facility, hired for the position of Assistant Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach.

Tommy Verdell’s hire follows the spring departure of former Assistant Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Osborne, who left to pursue a career closer to his home in South Burlington.

A committee headed by Athletic Director, Jamey Ventura was tasked with finding a suitable replacement for the position. “We had over 100 resumes for the position and I would say the top 20 resumes were very strong,” said Ventura.

From there, the process was narrowed down to seven candidates who received phone interviews before the choices were narrowed down even further to see who would receive a campus visit.

This visit consisted of a campus tour, and a meeting with the president, the search committee, the dean of students, and the basketball players. “It was an extensive process, which really was able to help us choose Tommy Verdell to take the position,” said Ventura.

Verdell comes to Johnson from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, where he was Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach. “I would be lying if I said that the opportunity to be a head coach is not something that was definitely appealing to me,” said Verdell. But being in a head position is not the only thing Verdell considered in taking this job: He was looking for a strong support team whose visions meshed with his own. “I started to find out more about the school,” said Verdell. “And the people, and more specifically the people within the athletic department, and how supportive they are, and where they want the basketball program to go and what they want the student athletes to represent in the program, and it became more and more of a no-brainer.”

Married, and father to an eight-and-a-half-month-old son, Verdell says these things can only help him in his career. “I think that it’s going to help make me an even better coach, and husband, and make me better in all the relationships that involve me as a male,” said Verdell.

He is obviously a man who hopes to be a living role model for his son and for his basketball players as well.

Verdell has already made strides in this area with his team. “We have already changed our pre-season attitude up from years past, and I’m ready to get the season rolling already,” said JSC senior and student athlete Bryan Hickey. “He brings this energy to the team that I haven’t experienced before when playing basketball. I’ve got a good feeling about this year and I really think we could bring a banner to the wall.”

Being in an administrative position within an athletic department is not something that Verdell is used to, although he is excited about the challenge.

“It gives you that other perspective. When you are coaching it’s ‘I need this’, ‘I need that’, but you don’t know where things come from, or the process it goes about,” said Verdell. “But, now I know that process from both ends so I can be more respectful in my role as a coach to others who are helping me out because I know what it’s like on the other end of that.”

While winning is the point of the game, there is something else that Verdell is trying to teach as well. “I think that five words really describe what I want to try and be about as a basketball coach: Loyalty, Trust, Love, Sharing, and Caring,” said Verdell. He plans to coach the team to play to their strengths and cover up their weaknesses by using a practice strategy designed to test themselves and overcome adversity.

Verdell will have his first practice with players Oct. 15, where the team members will be determined. “To me it is a privilege to be on a team, not a prize,” said Verdell. “It is something that you have to earn and that you have to respect. It is not something that should be taken lightly.”