Men's Basketball

Springfield Republican: Ginsburg A Happy Holdover

Adam Ginsburg will enter his fourth year with the basketball program.

Adam Ginsburg will enter his fourth year with the basketball program.

May 20, 2008

AMHERST - By the time Derek Kellogg arrived at the University of Massachusetts, the regime from the previous men's basketball program had cleared out, but one holdover was lingering.

"I was keeping my fingers crossed," said Adam Ginsburg, the only member of Kellogg's coaching staff who also worked for Travis Ford.

"I didn't know Derek, but for me, this is home," Ginsburg said. "I love it here."

When one coaching staff replaces another, holdovers are rarely kept or even considered. In Ginsburg, though, Kellogg saw an assistant worth keeping.

The early days of their relationship were still abnormally hectic, for reasons that went far beyond Ford's exit.

"Derek came in on a Wednesday (April 23)," said Ginsburg, 32. "We talked that night, and Thursday.

"On Friday, my wife went in to have our baby. Then Derek went back to Memphis for the birth of his baby."

When all of that was over, the coaches had two healthy babies, and a new and budding relationship of their own.

"I knew of Adam when I got here, but I didn't really know him," Kellogg said. "Everybody spoke so highly of him, though, and when everybody says the same thing about somebody, it's probably true."

The star hiring on Kellogg's staff is considered to be Vance Walberg, creator of the dribble-drive motion offense. Kellogg also brought in Andy Allison and Shyrone Chatman, who had worked with him on John Calipari's staff at Memphis.

It is Ginsburg, though, who provides a bridge between Kellogg and the 10 holdover players from Ford's regime, as well as many administrators who were not at UMass when Kellogg played there from 1991-95.



A respected recruiter, Ginsburg also helped reassure prep guard David Gibbs, the program's only incoming freshman and Ford's final UMass signee, that he could still thrive with the Minutemen.

Had Kellogg not hired Ginsburg, the UMass assistant is confident Ford would have found him a spot on the staff at Oklahoma State.

Ginsburg had other ideas.

"I loved working for Travis," he said. "But I really wanted to be here."

He is convinced that when Ford pledged to stay at UMass, he meant it. That was before Oklahoma State offered a seven-year, $9 million deal.

"Unfortunately, in college athletics, things happen at the snap of a finger," Ginsburg said. "I think everything happened faster than even Travis had expected. But he loved it here. I know he did."

Ginsburg said Ford's exit surprised him as much as it did everyone else.

"It all happened so fast," he said. "Our last game (the NIT final) was on April 3. By the time Travis left April 17, what happened two weeks earlier felt like two years ago. It was a wild time."

For Ginsburg, some normalcy has returned. His newborn daughter, Lexi Faith, is doing great.

The native of Baldwin, N.Y, is still in the Northeast, and at UMass, which was his strong preference. And the Ford holdover is now a firm Derek disciple.

"Whenever a coach leaves, everybody else goes into pause mode," Ginsburg said. "You ask, 'Where does that leave me?'

"Before he went back to Memphis for his baby, though, Derek told me not to worry about anything. He's been great with me, terrific. It's an exciting time."


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