Fordham University announced today that Tom Pecora is the new head coach of its men’s basketball program. Pecora, who led Hofstra University to four 20-win seasons as a head coach, yesterday signed a multi-year contract to lead the Fordham Rams in the highly competitive Atlantic 10 Conference.
“We are pleased, of course, to be able to bring Tom Pecora to coach the Rams, not least because we believe he will give players the kind of college athletic experience they expect at Fordham,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the University. “Our student athletes deserve the same kind of care and attention to personal development on the court as they receive in the classroom, and we are confident that Tom is the coach to deliver that experience.”
Pecora has just completed his ninth season as the Hofstra head coach and his 16th season overall on the Pride bench. He was named the tenth head coach in Hofstra men’s basketball history on March 28, 2001, after spending the previous seven years as an assistant.
“This is an exciting day for me and my family,” Pecora said. “At first, it was a difficult decision, but when I met Father McShane and learned of his vision for Fordham it made the decision easier. I’m now ready to move the Fordham basketball program forward and elevate the program to a high level.”
Over the last 13 years with Pecora on the staff (nine years as a head coach, four as an assistant), the Pride has averaged 19 wins a season (246-161). As a head coach, Pecora has compiled a 155-126 mark in nine seasons.
During his time in Hempstead, Hofstra has been the winningest program in the Metropolitan New York area. Over the last six years, Hofstra won 121 games, including four 20-win seasons. In 2006 and 2009 he was named Coach of the Year by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) and he has also received regional Coach of the Year honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY).
Pecora’s teams combined for a 69-26 record in the three years from 2004-07, registering three consecutive 20-win seasons and making three straight Postseason National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances. He has been in the bench for seven of the nine 20-win seasons that Hofstra has recorded at the Division I level, four as a head coach and three as an assistant.
|Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham welcomes Tom Pecora to the University.
Photo courtesy of Fordham Athletics
In 2005-2006, Pecora led the Pride to a history-making 26-7 record, tying the school’s wins record and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NIT. Hofstra’s two wins in the NIT marked the school’s first two postseason wins at the NCAA Division I level. In addition, the Pride placed third in the Colonial Athletic Association regular season with a 14-4 conference mark, continuing a five-year streak of improving its CAA record in every season since joining the league in 2001-02 (Pecora’s first season). The MBWA named Pecora their 2005-2006 Division I Coach of the Year, while the NABC named him their District 2 Coach of the Year. He followed up that season with a 22-10 mark and an Aeropostale Holiday Festival Championship in 2006-2007, while leading the Pride back to the Postseason NIT for the third year in a row.
Pecora first joined the Pride staff in 1994-1995 as an assistant under current Villanova head coach Jay Wright. In seven years as an assistant, Pecora played an integral role in building the Hofstra program into one of the top programs in the country. The Pride registered a 50-12 record over the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons, ranking sixth in the nation in winning percentage over that span (.806). Hofstra captured America East Championships and earned NCAA Division I Tournament berths in his final two seasons as an assistant coach (2000 and 2001).
Pecora arrived at Hofstra in 1994 after serving as assistant coach/recruiting coordinator at Loyola Marymount. He also served as an assistant coach, along with Jay Wright, to Rollie Massimino at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 1992-1993.
A native of Queens Village, New York, Pecora attended Martin Van Buren High School before moving on to Adelphi University, where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and health. He was inducted into Adelphi’s Hall of Fame in 2002.
A familiar figure in the community, Pecora is actively involved with several charities, including Father Hartman’s Christa House, the Dante Foundation, the Providence House, the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC), and CYO Charities.
During the summer of 2008, Pecora took part in Operation Hardwood, a USO-sponsored tour of Iraq and Kuwait. He was also named the 2005 Hope Through Hoops Foundation Man of the Year.
Pecora and his wife, the former Mary Beth Cantwell, reside in Williston Park, New York, with their daughters, Amanda and Brianna, and their son, Sean.
“We believe that Tom Pecora is the right person for Fordham, a person who has a wealth of coaching experience and all important recruiting experience in the Greater Metropolitan area,” said Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Frank McLaughlin. “We are extremely confident that Tom will build a successful program at Fordham to become competitive in the Atlantic 10, which is one of the premiere conferences in the country.”