David Hastings will be taking over as the head coach of men’s basketball after being a part of the Owl’s staff for the past seven seasons.

Hastings first joined as an assistant to Ryan Cain, who resigned from the position over the summer, and then was promoted to the role of Associate Head Coach five years ago. Prior to his time at KSC, Hastings had 17 years of experience as a High School coach. Hastings quickly became a top candidate for the job after being the primary recruiter for many of the team’s current players. “Coach Hastings is already respected by players and staff. He has built relationships on campus and in the community. He has also been a large part of the recruitment process and is familiar with current players and their families,” said Athletic Director Marty Testo. Cain went on to accept the head coaching job at Johns Hopkins University. In his eight seasons as the bench boss for the Owls, Cain helped lead Keene State to five NCAA tournament appearances, four LEC titles, and five 20-win seasons.

When asked about the responsibilities of making the jump to head coach, Hasting’s said, “The adjustment will be limited to additional paperwork, and the fact I will have the final decision… As a head coach getting the views of the full staff is important but, in the end, it falls on the shoulders of the head coach.” Most of his lessons and coaching style came from the likes of Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan, and Phil Jackson.

Hastings sees many benefits of already being around this team and the city of Keene. “The greatest benefit is the relationship between the players and me already. I won’t be a different person or coach, the returning players will help the new players to understand my philosophy when it comes to coaching,” said Hasting’s.

Associate Athletic Director Abe Osheyack echoed Testo’s praise for Hastings as the obvious choice for the job, “Coach Hastings’ familiarity with Keene State and our program made him a great choice as we head into 2023-24. He is a veteran and experienced coach and his familiarity, as well as the timing of Coach Cain’s departure so close to the start of the school year made it a no-brainer,” said Osheyack. After all the success Cain and Hastings have shared over the years, Hastings is looking to continue the culture.

“The players need to maintain the foundation and continue to strive to be the best teammate possible. The trust we have from top to bottom is the most important factor in our team, coach to player, player to player and player to coach,” said Hastings.

Coach Hastings will make his debut on November 11th, when the Owls take on Western New England at Spaulding Gymnasium.

Cal Thompson can be contacted at
cthompson@kscequinox.com

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