BEVERLY, Mass. — The Endicott athletics department has announced that Kevin Bettencourt has been named the seventh head coach in men’s basketball history, taking over a Gulls program that has won five Commonwealth Coast Conference titles since joining the league in 1999 with five NCAA Division III tournament appearances. Bettencourt is coming off six seasons as an assistant coach under Jay Lawson at Bentley, during which time the Falcons made three consecutive NCAA Division II tournament regional finals appearances from 2009-11, including a 2010 run that resulted in an East Regional championship and national semifinals berth.
“It is a privilege to have been selected out of a group of talented coaches that applied for this highly sought-after position. Endicott truly is a special place and I am lucky to now be a part of this community,” said Bettencourt, a native and resident of Peabody, Massachusetts.
Bettencourt, a four-year letterman and two-time captain during his 2002-06 career at Bucknell, comes to Endicott with seven years of collegiate coaching experience for basketball programs not only with a winning tradition mentality but with a focus on recruiting and developing quality student-athletes that possess high character values. Between his six seasons at Bentley from 2008-14 and one season prior at Salem State, Bettencourt’s dedication both on and off the court in basketball operations has led to a cumulative 141-67 (.678) overall record, three regular-season conference championships, two conference playoff titles and four NCAA tournament appearances between the two schools. At Bentley, he coached eight Northeast-10 All-Conference players including two-time All-American and 2010 NCAA Division II National Player of the Year Jason Westrol.
Bettencourt’s impact, specifically at Bentley, extended off the court as he helped emphasize the value of a high academic standing with the Falcons owning a 3.2 grade-point average for the 2013-14 season. Additionally, Bettencourt pushed his players to excel athletically by coordinating their offseason strength and conditioning programs and served as a valuable resource for the coaching staff by preparing and presenting detailed opponent scouting reports through extensive film breakdown.
“I was fortunate to learn from an experienced coaching staff at Bentley in Coach Lawson and Coach [Mark] Wentworth,” Bettencourt said. “They taught me about basketball and how to run a successful program. I plan to bring those guiding principles to Endicott and run the team in a similar way by surrounding myself with good players and coaches to represent the institution to the best of my ability.”
Through Endicott’s thorough interviewing process, Bettencourt was exposed to the college’s academic and athletic tradition.
“My first impression of Endicott was the beauty of the campus, but it didn’t take long to realize that Endicott is a department on the rise,” Bettencourt said. “The coaches have been successful and built strong programs and I look forward to working with them and learning from them in order to bring men’s basketball to a position of dominance. Thanks to Coach [Phil] Rowe and his staff, I’m taking over a roster that is ready to compete right away with talent in place and the excitement toward what lies ahead.”
Endicott, coming off five seasons with the veteran Rowe at the helm, who led the Blue and Green to a CCC championship and NCAA tournament automatic berth in 2012, anticipates that Bettencourt’s strong beliefs in recruiting high-level basketball prospects, developing a culture of hard work and dedication for both players and coaches, and maintaining academic excellence will catapult the men’s basketball program to the next level.
“It is with great enthusiasm that the Endicott family welcomes Coach Bettencourt to lead our men’s basketball program,” Endicott director of athletics Dr. Brian Wylie said. “He not only competed at a very high level during his playing days at Bucknell, but the wealth of experience that he has gained over the last six years under legendary Coach Lawson at Bentley, makes this such a perfect opportunity. Coach Bettencourt’s passion for basketball, incredible recruiting experience and his continuous drive for academic excellence among his student-athletes distinguished himself as the ideal fit for us at Endicott. Coach Bettencourt will be welcomed by one of the most-respected and talented group of men in the conference and we look forward to him making his own mark with this great group.”
Bettencourt, after a standout career at Peabody Veterans Memorial High Schools in which he scored 1,810 points, played out his collegiate career at Bucknell where he was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2003, a three-time second-team All-Patriot League selection and NCAA Player of the Game in NCAA Division I tournament wins against Kansas (2005) and Arkansas (’06). Bettencourt ended his career for the Bison with 1,577 points (fifth all time), scoring 56 percent of his points from beyond the arc with 294 made 3-pointers (second all time).