Robert Morris has promoted director of basketball operations Tim Lawrence to assistant coach, the school announced Wednesday. Lawrence, who joined the Colonials' staff last season, replaces Michael Byrnes, who was named the head coach at Rhode Island College in June.
"Tim had a terrific impact on our program in his previous role as director of basketball operations, and we believe he can have an even more positive impact with his additional responsibilities as assistant coach," head coach Andy Toole said in a statement. "His knowledge of the game and relationship with our players, plus his dedication to our program, made the decision to promote him an easy one."
Lawrence's vacant role will be filled by David Richards, who spent four seasons on the Colonials staff as a video coordinator (2009-11) and director of basketball operations (2011-13). Last season, Richards was as an assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan.
About a month ago, I'd heard from a source that this move was effectively a done deal, but when I asked people around the program about it, they said it was a move still being processed by the school's HR department. When red tape's involved, nothing is ever entirely official.
At this fairly late juncture in the college basketball calendar, promoting from within makes sense, especially for a smaller program like Robert Morris. Plus, Lawrence is someone people with the Colonials think highly of. That never hurts.
Along with those staff appointments, Toole announced that Robert Morris will host Mansfield in an exhibition game on Nov. 4 at the Charles Sewall Center.