St. Bonaventure basketball greats Jim Baron and Suzie Dailer have been named St. Bonaventure's representatives in the Atlantic 10 Conference Basketball Legends Class of 2017.
Established in 2013, the Legends program recognizes men's and women's basketball student-athletes and coaches who have made a lasting impact on their respective basketball programs and institutions. This year marks the fifth class the Atlantic 10 has inducted. Each year, A-10 member institutions select their two Legends. Previous honorees have included Basketball Hall of Fame members, national champions, Olympians, and professional players.
"The Atlantic 10 is pleased to honor the achievements and success of these 28 outstanding individuals," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "Their meaningful impact on their institutions, teams and on college basketball as a whole have made a lasting impression, and they are each very deserving of this prestigious accolade."
The Women's Basketball Legends will be saluted with a breakfast on Friday, March 3 prior to the 2017 A-10 Women's Basketball Championship quarterfinals. The event will take place at the Richmond Marriott beginning at 8:00 a.m.
The Men's Basketball Legends will be honored on Saturday, March 11 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa., prior to the 2017 Men's Basketball Championship semifinals. The celebration awards brunch will be in the Lexus Club, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
From his playing days to his career as head coach of four programs, Baron's life has been dedicated to the game of basketball.
As a senior co-captain and starting guard in 1976-77, Baron led St. Bonaventure to one of the most magical seasons in school history. The team won 20 games in the regular season and earned a spot in the NIT. The Bonnies defeated Rutgers, Oregon and Villanova to reach the NIT final. Playing in his hometown at Madison Square Garden on March 20, 1977, Baron and the Bonnies outlasted Houston 94-91 to capture the NIT championship.
Over 81 career games, he totaled 427 points and led the Bonnies in assists both his sophomore and senior seasons, but most indicative of Baron's impact on the Bonaventure program were the team's 73 wins over his career, an average of over 18 per season. At the university's 1977 graduation ceremony, Baron was also named the Ideal St. Bonaventure Student.
Baron's coaching career began as an assistant at Rochester's Aquinas High School, and then at the University of Rochester in 1978. He was an assistant at Loyola in Maryland for a year before returning to St. Bonaventure as an assistant in 1980-81. He then went to Notre Dame, where he worked for six years under Coach Digger Phelps. In 1987, he landed his first head coaching job at St. Francis (Pa.).
In 1992, Baron was hired as the 16th head coach St. Bonaventure history. His charge: lead his alma mater back, first to respectability and then to prominence. Baron did exactly that. In 1995, a senior-laden team went 18-13 and earned an NIT berth. He was named the 1994-95 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. His most successful season came in 1999-2000, when he led St. Bonaventure to 21-10 record, a second place finish in the A-10 Tournament and the school's first NCAA Tournament berth in 22 years. Overall, Baron finished his nine seasons as the leader of the Brown and White with 132 victories and four postseason appearances.
His success continued at the University of Rhode Island, where he won A-10 Coach of the Year honors three times and led the Rams to six postseason appearances in 11 seasons including the NIT final four in 2010.
Baron's final coaching stop was at Canisius College, where he went 73-59 over four seasons. Baron retired in May 2016. Over his 29-year career as a head coach, Baron's teams won 462 games. He posted 14 seasons of 18 wins or more and two of his teams reached the NCAA Tournament.
Best known as a scorer with long-range accuracy, Dailer graduated with the school record for three-point field goals and now sits second. She remains in the Atlantic 10's top 10 for career three-pointers. As a sophomore in 1993, she led the nation in three-pointers (99) and also led the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring (19.4 points per game) and assists (6.0 per game).
Over her career, Dailer scored 1,422 points and made 291 three-pointers. She now stands ninth in program history in scoring. However, Dailer truly was an all-around player, as evidenced by her impressive statistics in many areas. She ranks second all-time in school history in assists (449), seventh in steals (178) and 14th in rebounding (466). The Wheeling, W.Va., native was named All-Conference by the Atlantic 10 in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Her senior season, Dailer won the State Farm National Women's 3-Point Shootout at the women's Final Four.
Both Baron and Dailer are members of the St. Bonaventure Athletics Hall of Fame.