|Assistant A.D./Student Services|
On July 17, 2012, Mercy College Director of Athletics Pat Kennedy announced that Rashidi Aikens has become the women’s basketball program’s next head coach. He will also serve as Assistant Athletics Director for Student Services. Aikens, who comes from nearby Nyack College, has amassed over 12 years of collegiate coaching experience. In addition to his duties as head coach, Aikens will oversee Mercy’s new state-of-the-art fitness center operations.
“Rashidi was a slam dunk decision to hire as our new head women’s basketball coach. His decade-plus coaching and recruiting experience in this region, coupled with his prior work in student-athlete health, welfare and development made him an easy hire,” Kennedy said.
Aikens has served as the head assistant women’s basketball coach at Nyack since March 2000. His responsibilities varied from training the team’s managers and overseeing the film exchange program to promoting the team through camps and coordinating practices and game plans. Aikens was a six-time (five-consecutive) recipient of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference’s annual team sportsmanship award.
“I’m humbled and excited to have the opportunity to lead my own program. It has been a dream of mine to do this. I feel like Mercy College is the perfect match for me because of its location with me residing in Rockland County,” Aikens said. “I look forward to leading the Mercy Mavericks into the next phase in which we will teach hard work, discipline and sacrifice. I’m thankful to the search committee and Ms. Pat Kennedy for giving me this opportunity.”
Aikens has regional connections in the area and commented, “My experience with the Rockland County youth will help to bring in future Mavericks that will aid us in being competitive in the East Coast Conference.”
In addition, Aikens was a part of the coaching staff when Nyack won the 2001 NCCAA East Region Championship, 2009 NCCAA East Region Championship and assisted in winning the 2009-2010 CACC North Division Regular Season Championship and the 2009-2010 CACC Conference Tournament Championship.
In addition to his coaching duties, Aikens also served as the head strength and conditioning coach and fitness center manager at Nyack. He has also coached at the AAU level with the 13U Girls Hudson River Hornets program. From 2002 to 2010, Aikens was the head assistant softball coach at Nyack as well. He helped the softball team win the most games in program history in the 2002 season.
Aikens holds numerous certifications including merits from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and has earned a NCAA Division II Recruiting Certification. He is certified in CPR and AED, and is a Certified Personal Trainer, through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFFA).
He graduated from Nyack in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, with a minor concentration in Bible.
Aikens currently resides in Nyack, New York, and is married to Mandy Aikens. They have two daughters, Madison (4) and Elise (2).