After nine seasons as head coach of the Binghamton men’s basketball team, Tommy Dempsey will not return next season, per multiple media reports. Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that an official announcement from the University would come on Monday.
Dempsey last signed a contract extension in 2018, and his current deal expired at the end of this season. He leaves Binghamton with an overall record of 71-194, and his teams went 33-109 in America East Conference (AE) competition.
The Bearcats’ 2020-21 season came to an end on Saturday when BU was defeated by Hartford in the first round of the playoffs. The Bearcats entered the playoffs as the No. 9 seed and struggled on both sides of the ball against the fourth-seeded Hawks.
Binghamton finished the season ranked ninth in the conference in offense and 10th in defense.
From 2017-2020, the AE had nine members, and the top eight teams qualified for the playoffs. In the three seasons under that format, Binghamton missed the postseason twice.
The highlight of Dempsey’s tenure came in 2018-19 when the Bearcats upset second-ranked Stony Brook to advance to the AE semifinals. That team was led by AE Rookie of the Year, guard Sam Sessoms, who scored 26 points in the game.
In the ensuing offseason, six players transferred or otherwise left the team, and Binghamton finished the 2019-20 season in last place. Sessoms, one of the top statistical players in program history, announced his decision to transfer days after the Bearcats were eliminated from the playoffs.
Dempsey arrived at Binghamton in 2012 after spending seven seasons as head coach at Rider. He inherited a team in turmoil that was just three years removed from appearing in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Despite the on-court success of the 2008-09 Bearcats, the team was plagued with controversy off the court, and Dempsey was brought in to rebuild the program.
While the off-court issues disappeared, the team was never able to have sustainable on-court success. The Bearcats failed to win more than five conference games in a season during Dempsey’s tenure and advanced past the AE quarterfinals just once.
In his first four seasons at Binghamton, Dempsey’s teams had a .234 winning percentage in conference play. In his last five seasons, they won just .231 of conference matchups.