One of Section 1’s most coveted coaching jobs has been filled. Rasaun Young, a 1993 New Rochelle graduate, has been named to succeed Bill Murphy as the school’s basketball coach.
“I can’t imagine myself coaching any other varsity program except for New Rochelle,” said the 37-year-old Young. “I never wanted to cocach anywhere else. It’s my community. It’s where I’m from. I know what it means to play for New Rochelle.”
The team learned of Young’s hiring this afternoon after school and were enthusiastic about the decision, including senior star Joe Clarke, who is Young’s godson.
“My teammates, they’re excited, too,” Clarke said. “They walked in the weight room today and found out he was the new head coach. They know he can make us better this season.”
New Rochelle finished last season 13-7, losing to rival and eventual state champ Mount Vernon in the Class AA quarterfinals. Murphy resigned this August after nine seasons as the varsity coach. He went 160-55, reached the Class AA state championship game in 2005 and had five of his players earn Division I scholarships.
Young had served on Murphy’s staff. He was previously an assistant at Mount Vernon.
“There were a lot of candidates,” New Rochelle athletic director Steve Young said. “We narrowed it down and felt like Rasaun was the best choice.”
Young received strong support from the community where he starred as a high school player and where he currently works as a firefighter and activist for its youth.
“He certainly has a reputation,” Steve Young said. “The fact that you were a great player doesn’t mean you’re going to be a great coach, but it’s his knowledge of the community and how well he relates to the kids.”
“I know the kids. I know the parents. I know their grandparents,” Young said. “They know my accomplishments here. And they know I came back to New Rochelle to give back.”
Young, known by most as “Crabby,” led the state in scoring at 28.7 points per game in 1992-93 as a senior. He was selected by Gannett Suburban Newspapers as its player of the year that season after leading the Huguenots to the Class A championship game against Mount Vernon. He was honored as an honorable mention all-American by USA Today. In 1999, former columnist Barry Stanton selected Young as an honorable mention pick for The Journal News’ All-Century Basketball Team in 1999.
After high school, Young played at Buffalo, where he averaged 17.2 points per game during a four-year career that saw him named first-team all-conference three times. After his collegiate career, Young earned a tryout with the Knicks and played professionally in the U.S., Canada, Greece and Cyprus.
He and his older brother, Rashiem Young, applied for the varsity job at New Rochelle in 2003. Although they were bypassed for the position, they have organized several athletic initiatives for the youth in the city, including resuscitating the New Roc Classic Summer League at Lincoln Park.
Rasaun Young has coached on the varsity staffs at both New Rochelle and Mount Vernon and has been a firefighter at Engine Co. 23 in New Rochelle. He was the recipient of a “Live Saving Award” for his work in 2008.
His brother, Rashiem, will serve as Young’s top assistant.
“We went through the search process and felt it was the right way to go,” Steve Young said. “He came out and was the best candidate – not just for his knowledge of basketball, but how he relates to the kids, his knowledge of the community and his knowledge of the expectations here, not just on the court, but academically as well.”