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Press conference held for returning Phil Stern. Photo from Retriever Archive

BREAKING NEWS: Phil Stern Returns!

Happy April Fools’ Day! You are reading an article written for our April Fools’ edition of the newspaper, The Deceiver. This is a work of satire.

Everyone has always wanted to tell their boss off. I mean come on, how amazing would it feel to go up to your boss and tell them how tired you are of doing THEIR job? I can not tell you the number of people that have complained about how their boss literally sits in their office doing nothing. While that is the dream come true that is not how most people exit their workplace.

It is one thing to leave on your own accord, it is another thing to be put on leave by your superiors. Phil Stern knows all about this considering he has been in the rumor mill for quite some time. Unless you have been living under a rock you should know by now that he was placed on administrative leave and ultimately resigned back in late February. Well turns out they brought him back as not only a head coach but he personally gets to work beside Athletic Director Tim Hall.

This is the second time that Stern has left UMBC and then returned. In 2013, Stern took a coaching job at Seton Hall for a week, but then returned to the Retrievers following his short tenure there. Seriously, that is not even part of the satire, that is a real fact.

Based on the dismal performance in the regular season, and the flat playoff appearance it was clear that Stern was needed back in the fold. Since his departure, the team finished with a 4-14 record to close out the season. The only thing that made the season bearable for the team was the chance to make the playoffs.

Stern calmly walked back on campus like nothing had even changed. Once he walked into the Event Center his first choice of business was to make a statement on his release. “Well, to be quite frank, they let me go because of this so-called temper I possess,” he explained. He went on to explain that they felt he was overworking players and excessively berating them on missed plays. “What coach doesn’t get a little loud with their team, I mean how hard can it be to run the same three plays all season long?” Stern said with a laugh.

Under the new contract, Stern has the power to influence everything that goes on with the basketball team, he can even pick the scheduling and what merchandise they can promote. One of the biggest problems Stern faces is the backlash from those who never wanted him back. Stern made a comment that anyone who does not want him back “should take it up with someone who gives a fuck.” The team is gonna look completely different at least in terms of rotation. Stern talked about how one of the big things is to get junior-guard Dominika Scrockra more minutes next season. “It makes no sense to me for someone with her shooting ability to be diminished to a bench player role,” Stern bellowed.

Stern makes a good argument. It seemed like the Retrievers were allergic to winning without Stern, confining two of their best shooters in Scrocka and sophomore-guard Kristen Teklits to the bench. There were games where their shooting ability could have made a difference and changed the outcome of games. Maybe a “new” Phil Stern is what the team needs. The guy did have a hand in helping them earn the best record to start a season. This might piss off a few UMBC students and even a few players but you cannot argue results. It is a wait-and-see moment for UMBC, but one thing is certain: the drama isn’t only in the theaters, but is now spewing out of our own UMBC athletics department.