Steve Pikiell, whose recent success at Stony Brook suggests he may be doing best job of coaches in New York area, received contract extension to remain with Seawolves through 2017-18 season. (Photo courtesy of Newsday)
Every once in a while, good things tend to happen to good people, and this morning, Steve Pikiell happens to be Exhibit A of such an adage.
Pikiell, the affable and well-respected head coach at Stony Brook University, was rewarded; and deservedly so for that matter, with a contract extension that was formalized this morning through a release issued by the Long Island school. The 45-year-old coach, a former player and assistant under Jim Calhoun at Connecticut before setting out on his own and arriving in Suffolk County in 2005, received a multi-year commitment that will keep him at Stony Brook through the 2017-18 season, and gains the added job security just three months removed from a school record 25-win season that included Stony Brook's first postseason victory at the Division I level, a 71-58 road win against Massachusetts in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament this past March.
"I want to thank (athletic director) Jim Fiore, President (Samuel) Stanley, and the entire Stony Brook administration for their committed support and confidence in the program we are building here at Stony Brook University," Pikiell said. "I also want to thank my entire staff for the effort and work they put in each and every day to make us better. I'm honored to work at Stony Brook University, honored to recruit bright student-athletes who contribute more than just wins and losses, and honored to be a member of this community that has truly rallied around this university."
Pikiell enters his ninth campaign at the helm of the Seawolves this fall, and will have to replace five seniors from last season's roster, most notably versatile forward Tommy Brenton, who graduated as the program's all-time rebound and assist leader. However, Stony Brook will most likely still be considered the prohibitive favorite in the America East next season, a credit to its coaching staff working their player development skills to perfection. When we spoke to Pikiell at April's MBWA Haggerty Awards dinner, he informed us that three redshirt freshmen will be taking the court this season to help fill the void, and the coach believes he has a good player in every class.
"Coach Pikiell represents the university exactly the way that we want to be represented," Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore said. "For eight years, he has guided our men's basketball program on an unprecedented upward trajectory of success both on the court and in the classroom. Equally as important, he has represented Stony Brook with unparalleled class and integrity."
Stony Brook will travel to Virginia Commonwealth this season for a meeting with Shaka Smart and the Rams as part of the Seawolves' nonconference ledger as they prepare for one more year at Pritchard Gymnasium before the opening of their newly renovated on-campus arena in 2014. For more information about Steve Pikiell and Stony Brook University, please continue to follow A Daly Dose Of Hoops throughout the offseason.