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The huddle

January 18, 2019

The Cinderella Story: Holy Cross Men’s Basketball Head Coach Carmody

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Holy Cross is a fantastic school, but it was not on everyone’s tongue like it is today. I’d often hear, “Where is this school? Is Holy Cross a D1 school? I Never heard of ‘em.”  Despite all the doubters and adversity, Coach Carmody managed to lead the Crusaders to a Patriots League Championship, their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1953, and their first NCAA tournament win in school history all of this happened in his first year as head coach!

The College of the Holy Cross is a private, undergraduate, Roman Catholic, Jesuit liberal arts college located in Worcester, Massachusetts, founded in 1843.  Before coaching there, Carmody was the head coach at Princeton from 1996-2000 and at Northwestern from 2010-2013. No one would have ever believed that Coach Carmody would be able to take a 15-20 Holy Cross team to an NCAA tournament, but he is now forever a legend at the school. Coach Carmody will make another attempt at a March miracle with his gritty and strategic coaching methods.

Jehyve Floyd, a 6’8” senior at Holy Cross, was kind enough to discuss his experiences with Holy Cross and Coach Carmody with LRT Sports.  

Floyd was an absolute beast at Sayreville high school in New Jersey for four years, where he earned the first team All-Conference honors as a senior, after averaging 17.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.  I had the pleasure of meeting and playing against him multiple times. A standup guy and pure athlete, Floyd was a mere freshman when Carmody was hired at Holy Cross and had a significant impact during their March Madness run.  He is now one of their best players and was the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year last season.

LRT Sports:  What qualities do you consider most important in a head coach and why?

Floyd:  In my opinion, the ability to motivate players is the most important quality in a head coach. A player’s coach can get the best out of anyone with the right motivation and guidance. Once a player believes in a coach it ignites the belief in themselves.

LRT Sports: What kind of influence did your head coach have when recruiting you to attend your University?

Floyd: My recruitment was different because I was first recruited by Coach Kevin Driscoll and Coach Milan Brown. Although they were fired months before I attended Holy Cross, their influence allowed me to believe in myself. They were the first school who saw the potential in me to be a great college player and we created a family bond amongst one another. When Coach Carmody got the job, I already had my sights on coming to Holy Cross, so it was a new relationship for me.

LRT Sports: What is the best advice that Coach Carmody has given you?

Floyd: Since I’ve been here, I’ve grown a lot on and off the court. I think the best advice that Coach Carmody has given me is that being a special player comes with a lot of baggage. Early on in my college years, he would be tough on me because he knew I could always give more and that’s something I’ve had to grow to understand.

LRT Sports: What is your favorite memory of when playing for Holy Cross/Coach Carmody?

Floyd: Winning the PLC my freshman year was my most memorable moment. Even though I didn’t play much, the feeling was like no other, and I felt part of something special. That moment showed me how hard you have to work to be successful.

LRT Sports: How did you guys make it to the NCAA tournament despite all the odds and doubters?

Floyd: We came together at the right time. Game after game our confidence grew, and we had nothing to lose so we left it out there.

LRT Sports: What stands out to you as something different/funny/interesting about Coach Carmody?

Floyd: Coach Carmody isn’t your typical “player’s coach.” But, he knows the game very well, and I’ve learned so much about the fundamentals of basketball running the Princeton offense. His love for the game shows in a different way, but once you get to know him, you’ll understand how he wants the game to be played.

Edited by Brandon Sires

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