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SHU's Bike non-commital on coaching future

Published 5:36 pm, Tuesday, February 26, 2013
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FAIRFIELD -- The energy flowing through the University Commons not only impacted the Sacred Heart students Tuesday morning who were on hand to welcome new executive athletic director Bobby Valentine.

The coaches, including longtime men's basketball coach Dave Bike, felt it in the building, too.

"I felt some excitement in the room," Bike said. "With him coming in here it should be an exciting time at Sacred Heart University and I hope to play some part in it."

Bike has been a fixture on the SHU sidelines for 35 seasons. But, with the rash of recent retirements in the state -- including SHU AD Don Cook, UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun and St. Joseph's boys coach Vito Montelli -- might he become the next one to declare?

"I don't think there's anything definite yet that I wouldn't be coaching or that I won't be around," Bike said about speculation on his future.

At age 65, Bike said retirement is something he has pondered more seriously.

"I think as the years have gone out it has been a definite (consideration)," he said. "You know I'm not 21 anymore and I'm not 31 and I'm not 41. As you move on in age you start looking at different things." When Montelli, 80, retired last summer Bike said at the time that it gave all coaches "the permission to retire."

"If I was a betting man I would have bet Vito would have lasted longer than me," Bike said, with a smile.

When Bike does decide to retire the school already has a deal in place with assistant coach Anthony Latina to replace. Latina confirmed Tuesday that the change in athletic directors will not alter the plan.

For now though, the plan for the Bike and the Pioneers is to try and fill the final spot in the Northeast Conference Tournament.

SHU (9-18, 7-9) and St. Francis, N.Y. (11-16, 7-9) are tied for eighth going into the final two games of the regular season and will meet Saturday in New York for what will essentially be a play-in game for the final spot.

SHU also play at Long Island Brooklyn on Thursday, but even if it wins there, would need help to get in.

"I know one thing," Bike said. "We have a big game on Saturday."

Contact William S. Paxton at wpaxton@ctpost.com Follow him on twitter at wspaxton

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