Mike Lonergan, best known in the Washington area for winning the Division III national championship while at Catholic University, is expected to be hired as George Washington’s men’s basketball coach, according to sources close to the hiring.
Lonergan, 45, who grew up in Bowie and attended Carroll High School, will come to GW from the University of Vermont where he has been the head coach since 2005. He went 126-68 at Vermont, taking the Catamounts to four postseason appearances, including one NCAA tournament. Vermont won three regular season America East titles and one conference tournament championship under Lonergan.
Before Vermont, Lonergan spent one season as an assistant coach to Gary Williams at Maryland. He was the coach of his alma mater, Catholic, from 1992 to 2004, going 251-88 with the 2001 national title.
Lonergan is set to be the first hire by Patrick Nero, the former America East commissioner who was brought in less than a month ago to be George Washington’s athletic director. Nero has yet to take over as GW’s athletic director, but oversaw the search to replace Karl Hobbs, who departed the school on April 25.
Lonergan inherits a program that went 17-14 last season, finishing tied for fourth in the Atlantic 10, despite Lasan Kromah, its leading returning scorer, missing the entire season with a foot injury. Besides Kromah, the Colonials are expected to have their top three scorers and top two rebounders returning next season.
The biggest challenge facing Lonergan will be convincing Erik Copes, considered one of the top high school centers in the country, to keep his commitment to GW. Copes is the nephew of Roland Houston, who was an assistant on Hobbs’s staff.