LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It is three years to the day since McNeese announced now Athletics Director Heath Schroyer as their head basketball coach. Today, the Cowboys announced Schroyer’s protege, John Aiken, will take over the reins of the program.
“This isn’t a one-year rebuild,” Aiken said. “This is a long-term build for me. Just like the house that I am building currently, the bricks are all down, the floors are all out, the walls are stripped to the studs and we got to build it back.”
Aiken’s goal is to continue to build upon the vision started by him and Schroyer, but Aiken was firm in that this will be his team.
“The first step for me is getting the right people on the bus… who wants to come to play for John Aiken? John Aiken is a different person than Heath Schroyer,” he said. “We have different strengths and weaknesses. Heath Schroyer had a wealth of experience as a head coach, John Aiken has two years of experience as a head coach, and so who wants to be apart of this program and who wants to be on this bus going forward.”
Last week Schroyer said that coaching experience will matter when making hires. While Aiken has a limited head coaching resume, Schroyer said he was sold on Aiken from their years of working together.
“I have basically interviewed this guy for seven years,” Schroyer said. “We got the right guy and he is going to take this thing and run with it… but I also understand this job, and I know what this job needs and this job needed John Aiken and there is no question in my mind like I said, he is going to hit a home run here and I am excited to support him.”
Aiken says over the next couple of weeks he plans to meet with all his players that could potentially return for next season in order to have a better understanding of recruiting during a pivotal offseason.