Navy coach Billy Lange resigned Monday to return to Villanova as the Wildcats’ associate head coach.
Lange was 92-115 in seven seasons in Annapolis. The Midshipmen increased their victory total in each of his first five seasons, peaking at 19-11 in 2008-09. With an inexperienced roster, Navy was 11-20 last season.
“Jay and I have maintained a close relationship since I’ve been here,” Lange said. “This just came about toward the middle or latter part of last week. He presented it to me, and I thought about what I want to do and where I want to be in the future. I tried to look at things and it kind of went from there.”
Lange inherited a five-win team in the spring of 2004 and eventually led the Mids to second place in the Patriot League regular season in 2008 and third in 2009. However, the improvement didn’t translate into the conference tournament. Navy did not win a Patriot League tournament game under Lange.
Lange said it was difficult to break the news to his players at Navy but did not view how he weighed his decision as no longer being a head coach.
“I didn’t look at it like that,” Lange said. “I just love to coach and impact lives. I tried to remove that from it. You love to have your own culture, but I looked at the opportunity to align myself with someone I’m similar to in terms of teamwork and attitude and relationships. Rather than looking at what I was giving up, I was looking at what I was gaining.”
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Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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