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AP source: Canisius hires Witherspoon as basketball coach

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Reggie Witherspoon is returning home to Buffalo to coach the Canisius College basketball team.

He signed a five-year contract and replaces Jim Baron, who retired May 20. A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday.

''Reggie brings with him a proven track record of building strong basketball teams and developing young men,'' athletic director Bill Maher said Saturday.

Witherspoon spent last season as an assistant at Chattanooga and the previous year at Alabama. He is from Buffalo and spent more than 13 seasons coaching the University at Buffalo. He had a 198-228 career record and was a two-time Mid-American Conference coach of the year before being fired after the 2012-13 season.

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The 55-year-old Witherspoon, who worked with Maher at Buffalo, is a defensive-minded coach and highly respected in the community. He takes over a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team that had struggled before becoming competitive during Baron's four years.

The Golden Griffins had gone 11 straight seasons without a winning record before finishing 20-14 in Baron's first season. They went 73-61 under Baron, with only one losing season - 14-19 last year.