A few minutes with new Maryland assistant Bino Ranson
They used to call him “Baby Bino,” back when Orlando Ranson was growing up in Baltimore. Ranson’s father, Shirley, was a huge Babe Ruth fan, and in honor of The Great Bambino, Shirley gave Orlando his first nickname.
These days, they just call him “Bino.” That’s how he’s known in recruiting circles, where Ranson has developed a reputation as a talented relationship-builder. That’s how he’s known throughout the D.C.-Baltimore region, where Ranson has developed deep ties over the past decade while rising through the coaching ranks.
And that’s how he’ll be known at Maryland, the program that last week named Ranson its newest assistant coach. Ranson replaces Chuck Driesell, who departed the program in late April to take over as head coach at The Citadel.
Ranson, who has skipped from the high school ranks to running his own AAU team in his native Baltimore to coaching at schools such as Marist, James Madison and – this past season – at Xavier, will assume Driesell’s role as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He knows a large part of that will be concentrated on trying better secure Maryland’s backyard, a region rich in basketball talent.
“Just being consistent and persistent,” Ranson said Monday in a phone interview. “And being good to the guys in the area. I have great ties to the area. I recruited Jay Gavin from Bishop McNamara to Marist, and he was the (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) co-rookie of the year. And just being good, being good and consistent and persistent and just getting after it and just showing lots of love and just showing the university.
“Because kids want to come to the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland is as big as it gets. They’ve won a national championship. They’ve been to another Final Four. It’s one of those things of just selling the program and being consistent in terms of the whole recruiting process.”
Ranson previously has served as the recruiting coordinator at Marist and at James Madison under Coach Matt Brady.
“In doing this, sometimes it’s just about getting after it,” Ranson said. “It’s just about getting after it.”
Ranson’s been doing that since he graduated from Southern New Hampshire and decided he wanted to enter the coaching profession. After playing one season in the International Basketball Association for the Winnipeg Cyclone, he started out as the junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach at Pikesville High. There, he learned for two years under Coach Paul Smith, who formerly coached at Dunbar.
Then he moved on to work as the junior varsity coach at his alma mater, Saint Frances High.
“At that time, there were kids out there that I was connected to and that was in the community that really needed an opportunity to really showcase themselves because they weren’t the most sought-after kids for the higher AAU programs in the area,” Ranson said. “So I started my (AAU) program, Team Baltimore, and I had guys like Ricky Harris, who went on to (the University of Massachusetts) and became the No. 3 all-time leading scorer at UMass. I had Jermaine Dixon, Juan’s younger brother, who went to (Pittsburgh). I had DaJuan Summers, who went to Georgetown, when he was 14 for a year. I had those kids, and those kids weren’t really looked at as having the top qualities of the younger kids, buy we got in the gym and we worked really hard, and those guys did well for themselves afterwards.”
Ranson has close ties to the Dixon family. In fact, the first time he ever attended a game at Maryland was during Juan Dixon’s time as a Terrapin. Ranson grew up as a close friend of Juan’s older brother, Phil, who ended up being the best man at Ranson’s wedding.
“Phil and I, we went to the same high school,” Ranson said. “They lived down the block from me. I lived 5148 Darien Road. They lived 5114 Darien Road.”
Ranson grew up a fan of Maryland basketball. As a child, he would turn on Channel 45 and watch as Len Bias, Keith Gatlin and Jeff Baxter led the Terrapins during ACC play.
His roots as a Baltimore native and as a Maryland fan are what provide added meaning to the job title he now holds.
“It means the world, man,” Ranson said when asked what it meant to him to work at Maryland. “It’s great. It’s an honor to work for a future Hall of Famer in Gary Williams. It brings a lot of joy to me. It brings a lot of passion to me. And it brings a lot of fire and desire to me to be here wearing red.”
June 14, 2010; 1:32 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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