Sanderford returning to bench

Danny Schoenbaechler

It didn’t take long for the young staff of Western’s men’s basketball to gain a little experience.

Western basketball coach Darrin Horn has added an additional coach to his depleted staff. Lady Topper coaching legend Paul Sanderford joined Horn on the bench for the Auburn game and will be an assistant for the rest of this season.

“He’s a guy that I’ve known since I came to Western at 18,” Horn said. “He has been a really positive influence in my life.”

The coach came back onto the Western athletic staff this fall as a fund-raiser.

He is filling a void that was made with assistant coach Sean Doherty and graduate assistant David Boyden leaving for other jobs.

The players seem to be enjoying having Sanderford’s experience to lean on.

“It’s been wonderful having him around,” junior guard Antonio Haynes said. “You can tell that he’s been around the game for a long time.”

While Sanderford didn’t spend the entire preseason as an assistant, senior guard Mike Wells said that he has been around practices.

“We talk everyday,” Wells said. “He tells us what we need to do and helps us with our weaknesses.”

Sanderford had been watching practice because Horn wanted to know his opinion on the team.

Sanderford then told Horn that he would be an actual assistant until the position is filled this spring.

His r?sum? is impressive and includes Final Four appearances in 1985, 1986, 1992 and a .750 winning percentage in his 15 seasons with the Lady Toppers. Sanderford coached the women from 1982 to 1997.

Reach Danny Schoenbaechler at [email protected]