NEPA Sports Nation

Dempsey to coach AAU boys team

By Tom Robinson,

The NEPA Elite AAU basketball program added National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I head coaching experience to its staff Wednesday with the announcement that Tommy Dempsey will coach the club’s 15U boys, a Hoop Group Showcase League team, in the spring and summer.

Dempsey, a Dunmore High School graduate, had a record-setting, seven-year run at Rider University in New Jersey and nine seasons leading Binghamton University in New York State.

At 47, the grueling Division I coaching stage of Dempsey’s career may be over, but he said he still hopes to be able to share what he learned during those 16 seasons.

“When you take another job, you feel like you have all this (basketball) knowledge in your head, but you’re not really sharing it with anybody,” said Dempsey, who is still living in Binghamton, but is working from the Scranton office of Harding Brooks Insurance. “So, what good are you doing, if you have 24 years of experiences, but you have nobody to share it with?”

Dempsey enjoyed coaching the fifth-and-sixth grade team of his youngest son in the year-plus since leaving the Binghamton position, and said, in reflection, that he hoped to be able to share more from his experiences of coaching on higher levels.

“Being able to be a Division I head coach for 16 years and being involved in college basketball for 20-plus years, I think I have a lot to offer the players in the program and maybe even from a mentorship role to some of the younger, aspiring coaches,” Dempsey said. “Because I was able to kind of live my dream, so to speak, there’s a part of me that thinks I owe it to now be a connector in not only the development of young players, but also maybe to connect some aspiring coaches.

“I just hope to use my experiences from 24 years of coaching to give back and kind of help the next group of players and coaches that are coming through.”

NEPA Elite plays out of Riverfront Sports in Scranton where Dempsey’s oldest son, Tommy, played for the JB Hoops AAU team before spending one season each playing at Providence and Binghamton, then launching his own coaching career on the junior varsity level at Seton Catholic Central in Binghamton.

Dempsey began coaching right out of college, going from team captain to assistant coach at Susquehanna University, and became a Division I coach at Rider at age 30.

After one season as head coach at Wyoming Seminary, Dempsey took Keystone College from 11 wins the season before he was hired to 26 and 29 wins in his two seasons.

Dempsey coached Lackawanna College, where he had played baseball and basketball between his time at Dunmore and Susquehanna, to a 33-4 record and an appearance in the 2003 National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national championship game.

Dempsey followed school-record win totals at Keystone and Lackawanna by doing the same at Rider with a pair of 23-win seasons and an average of 17 per season for his seven years.

While Dempsey was praised for the “Integrity, academic success and citizenship” he brought to a Binghamton program that had been rocked by scandal, the team was 71-194 in his nine seasons.

Dunmore’s John Rinaldi and Scranton Prep’s Timmy Rose played for Dempsey at Binghamton, along with J.C. Show and George Tinsley from Abington Heights.


For more details about Dempsey and how his family played a role in the decision to coach on the AAU level, see the story at: Dempsey joins NEPA Elite coaching staff – NEPA Elite Basketball.

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