Immaculata tabs McKeever as its new boys' head basketball coach

Immaculata tabs McKeever as its new boys' head basketball coach

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Immaculata tabs McKeever as its new boys' head basketball coach

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Keeping it in the family, Immaculata High School has chosen longtime assistant and alum Ryan McKeever to succeed Mike Frauenheim as head coach of its boys basketball program.

The 31-year-old McKeever coached under Frauenheim for the past 10 years, the first four running the junior varsity team and the last six as varsity assistant. During that span the Spartans captured two NJSIAA Non-Public A championships and appeared in three Somerset County Tournament finals, winning one.

“I’m really excited,” McKeever said via phone Monday morning. “I love the school. This is where I always wanted to be.”

McKeever, who works in advertising sales for Hibu Media, played for Immaculata before graduating in 1999 and went on to star at the community college level at both Raritan Valley and Middlesex County. A sharpshooting guard, he played his final two collegiate seasons at Kean University under Bruce Hamburger, now an associate head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Although McKeever didn’t see a lot of playing time at Kean, his basketball IQ impressed Hamburger.

“He was always very engaged in the game,” Hamburger said. “He had that look on his face. Guys would come ouf of the game and he would coach them.

“For a guy that didn’t play a ton, he had the respect of his teammates. I always had faith and confidence in him.”

After college he came back to Immaculata and helped build a state championship team without a Division I scholarship player—a rarity in New Jersey.

“He was always proud of the program,” Hamburger said. “He has a strong feeling about the place.”

McKeever’s commitment to Immaculata was a factor in getting the head coaching position.

“Working with coach Frauenheim, along with many assistant coaches, in games, practices, camps, and summer league games over 13 years, Ryan learned on the court and on the bench the rigors of coaching and motivating young men in the Spartan tradition,” said Immaculata Athletic Director Tom Gambino. “We are very excited that he will be leading us in this next chapter of Immaculata basketball.”

Traditionally known as a football and baseball power, Immaculata showed its potential in boys basketball under Frauenheim, who stepped down last month after 13 seasons at the helm.

“He’s been a huge influence on me as a coach,” McKeever said. “He was always able to get the most out of players.”

The vacancy drew widespread interest. In the interim, McKeever continued to work with the team in open gyms and at Rutgers University’s team camp.

“It’s a very smooth transition—we haven’t skipped a beat,” McKeever said. “Everyone has been very supportive. This is a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to it.”

Staff writer Jerry Carino: jcarino@njpressmedia.com

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