Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Otis Resigns at MV, Son Transfers to Trinity

One of the good guys of NH basketball has stepped down from his coaching position.

"I resigned last Tuesday" said Rich Otis, who was the Merrimack Valley boys head basketball coach for the past 10 years. "My Athletic Director and the whole Merrimack Valley community have been great. We had some tough years but I am happy to get the program back to respectability."

Otis Coached the Pride to a 13-5 record last season, and they went 11-7 the year before that. His starting point guard last season was 5-foot-10 sophomore Ryan Otis, who is Coach Otis' son.

"It is time for someone else to coach my son" said Coach Otis. "This decision was made as a family."

Ryan Otis will now be playing for Trinity head coach Dave Keefe, who has coached the Pioneers to 3 Division I Final Four Appearances in the last 4 years, including a D-I state title in 2009.

"Ryan has been accepted into Trinity and starts school there next week" explained Coach Otis. "I just don't know who the new coach at MV will be so I feel this will be a better situation for him. Plus he already knows some of their players because he played with Pat (Keefe) and G (Carmen Giampetruzzi) back in middle school."

Coach Otis says that he will take a break from coaching so that he can watch his son play at Trinity.

With Otis, Keefe and Giampetruzzi, plus Player of the Year candidate Mabor Gabriel and defensive stopper Romeo Masuku, Trinity now has the talent to make yet another run back to Durham.

"Ryan started for the GS Raiders team coached by Frank Alosa" said Coach Otis. "It was a high level team and they went down to AAU Nationals in Florida."

As for Merrimack Valley, losing their coach of the last 10 years and starting point guard will be tough to handle.

"I thought we would have been a top 4 or 5 team in D-II this year" said Coach Otis. "We had a really good summer, with a lot of out kids playing high level AAU ball. I think Andrew Alicea is a top 5 player in D-II. He missed 8 games last year with an injury but has had a big summer for us and is very athletic. He has been playing well, and so have our other returning players like my son and Dylan Baer."

Coach Otis will not only be missed at Merrimack Valley, but also by his fellow Division II coaches.

"Rich has been one of the coaches that everyone likes and respects in
our division" said Lebanon head coach Keith Matte. "A few years back they went through some tough seasons with very little talent. Instead of resigning he really just worked his program back to respectability. I don't think he would be
resigning if he didn't know that the team was going to be in great shape. Rich hates to bring any attention to himself, really wants all the credit to go to the kids. He really cares about his players more than just as basketball players. Someone is going to have big shoes to fill at the Valley."

So D-I teams should watch out for Ryan Otis, D-II teams should watch out for Andrew Alicea. And Rich Otis, enjoy your break from coaching - you deserve it.

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