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Rayfield is the Gaels' new man

Former Davis & Elkins College coach takes over Goretti boys hoops

May 29, 2010|By TIM KOELBLE
  • Amrit Rayfield, the new boys basketball coach at St. Maria Goretti, was the head coach at Davis & Elkins College for eight years.
Submitted photo,

HAGERSTOWN -- St. Maria Goretti has its man to carry the Gaels into the next decade of boys basketball.

Amrit Rayfield, 36, was named the new head coach Friday by Goretti Athletic Director David Blenckstone. He succeeds Chad Brashears, who coached two seasons after taking over for retired coach Cokey Robertson.

Rayfield is a native of Crisfield, Md., where he graduated from high school and played basketball for two years under his father and coach, Philip. He then went on to Davis & Elkins College, where he graduated in 1997 and was a four-year starter for the Senators.

His coaching career began quickly. He was an assistant at Davis & Elkins and then became head coach in 2000, a position he held until leaving after the 2008-09 season.

"Coaching basketball is in my blood and it is a passion," said Rayfield, who is married and has one daughter. "I had a great 11 years in college. It doesn't make a difference who I am coaching ... 14-to-18 on the high school level or 18-to-22 in college. You are still out to accomplish the same things."

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Rayfield said he has no misgivings going from college to high school.

"This will be a refreshing experience and I fully understand the St. Maria Goretti tradition," said Rayfield. "I would come to Goretti to recruit, and I have the most respect for Cokey Robertson and what he did at the school."

Still living in Elkins, W.Va., Rayfield went into the private sector and also spent the past year as an assistant coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Rayfield also had one year of experience as athletic director at Davis & Elkins along with his coaching duties.

"A new administration came in and the additional responsibilities just took too much time away from basketball," said Rayfield of leaving the school. "D&E is a small school and the new administration wanted to do too many things with adding sports too fast."

Blenckstone said Goretti had a dozen qualified applicants for the job.

"I was impressed with the quality of applicants, with the difference in experience and backgrounds," said Blenckstone. "The fact that we were able to hire such an experienced, well-respected coach speaks volumes. Amrit will have a positive impact with our kids not only on the basketball floor, but in the classroom and in the community."

Rayfield will have a challenge at Goretti.

The Gaels were 10-20 last year and lose Herald-Mail Co-Player of the Year Nic Martin to graduation. Goretti also has not won a Baltimore Catholic League contest in two years.

"I'm looking forward to working with the group coming back and those of the future," said Amrit, who hopes to catch some action Tuesday when the Mason-Dixon Summer League gets under way at Goretti. "I'll gauge what we have and we'll eventually adapt a style.

"There's one thing I will preach and that is to always work and play hard, harder than anyone else on the floor."

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