Last season, the Yale men’s basketball team made it to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) championship game and finished with a 19–14 overall record — a vast improvement over the previous season’s 14–17 mark. With the program on the rise, it may come as a surprise that the Bulldogs find themselves replacing one of their assistant coaches.
But after five years at Yale, assistant coach Jamie Snyder-Fair has stepped down from the program, citing various personal sacrifices and the opportunity to coach at the Division-III level as reasons for his departure. In his place will be a relatively young replacement, Anthony Goins, who coached at Dartmouth last season.
“We are sad to see Coach Snyder-Fair leave because he was a mentor and role model to many players on the team,” 2014–’15 captain Greg Kelley ’15 said. “He brought enthusiasm and a certain Western-Mass grit to practice everyday. His unique sense of humor and fashion will be missed by Yale men’s basketball.”
Head coach James Jones said the program wishes Snyder-Fair all the best down the road and added that Snyder-Fair hopes to continue coaching.
With an open position on the Yale coaching staff, Jones moved quickly to get his ducks in a row before the Bulldogs return to campus in the fall.
“Justin Simon ’04, my former player and three-year assistant was moved up,” Jones said.
Simon has been with the Bulldogs coaching staff for three seasons and played for the Elis from 2000–2004. He accrued 243 points in his 82 appearances wearing the blue and white, and he played a prominent role as the Elis’ sixth man in his final two seasons. Additionally, Simon received the Eggie Mies Award as the team’s top free-throw shooter as a junior.
Before rejoining Jones — his former coach — Simon served as an assistant coach and teacher at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, where he brought the program to the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class A final in two consecutive years.
Jones has previously said that Simon brought a valuable and exclusive perspective to the Bulldogs, having gone through the process of being a player under Jones himself and now mentoring players from the other side.
There will also be a new face alongside Jones’s old crew, associate head coach Matt Kingsley and Simon. Goins, who spent last season with the Dartmouth Big Green and the three prior seasons with the Salisbury School in Connecticut, will be Yale’s fresh assistant coach.
“Coach Goins is an excellent addition to the staff,” Assistant Director of Sports Publicity Tim Bennett said. “He understands the nuances of coaching in the Ivy League from his time at Dartmouth and also is aware of the great passion for basketball in the state of Connecticut.”
Goins graduated in 2008 with a degree in Sports Management from St. John’s and last year helped Dartmouth to its best overall record since 2000. He compiled 64 wins and just 18 losses during his time with the Salisbury School between 2010 and 2013.
Snyder-Fair joined the Bulldogs in 2009 as a volunteer assistant coach and was promoted to a full-time assistant coach in 2011. Before joining Yale, he spent a season with the Divsion-III Washington & Lee Generals, helping them make it back to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game for the first time in 20 years.
Snyder-Fair also coached as an assistant with Vassar and Amherst Colleges prior to his stints at Washington & Lee and Yale.