Friday, March 27, 2015

Fordham nearing deal with Andy Toole to fill coaching vacancy (UPDATED)

Fordham is apparently zeroing in on Andy Toole as next head coach, with both sides rumored to be close to an agreement. (Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

As one local college basketball program ponders its future and latest head coaching hire, another seems to have taken a step toward clearing any doubt that remains.

In a development lost in the shuffle after St. John's announced it would part ways with Steve Lavin, Fordham appears to be close to hiring a successor to Tom Pecora, with the likely replacement being Robert Morris coach Andy Toole.

WFUV, the flagship radio station of Fordham University, announced via Twitter earlier today that Toole was "nearing a deal" to become the Rams' new head coach, and toured the facilities on the school's Rose Hill campus yesterday.

Mike Watts, one of the play-by-play voices of Fordham athletics on WFUV, took it a step further, stating that multiple sources told him that a press conference to announce Toole's hire could take place as early as Tuesday.

In five seasons at Robert Morris, the 34-year-old Toole has amassed a record of 110-66, reaching four Northeast Conference championship games, and has made as many postseason appearances in that span. Earlier this month, the Colonials earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his tenure, defeating St. Francis Brooklyn to capture the Northeast Conference championship for the first time since 2010, when Toole was an assistant under former head coach and Fordham alumnus Mike Rice. His postseason resume also includes victories over Kentucky and St. John's in the National Invitation Tournament, accomplishing those feats in 2013 and 2014.

A finalist for the Siena job that ultimately went to Jimmy Patsos two years ago, Toole is widely praised in most circles, and has been lauded by many as one of the best possible hires Fordham could make.

"If it happens," said Andrew Chiappazzi, a writer for the Beaver County Times in Pennsylvania who has covered Robert Morris in the past for, "Fordham would get a charismatic, relentless coach who thrives on competition, recruits well, and coaches well."

Several other reports have mentioned Albany head coach Will Brown, Kevin Baggett of Rider and Norfolk State's Robert Jones as prospective candidates, but any activity aside from meeting with the Parker Executive Search firm; which is handling Fordham's coaching search, has not been confirmed.

More information on Fordham's coaching search will be posted as it becomes available.

***UPDATE AS OF 9:12 P.M. - Andy Toole has informed his players that he is NOT leaving Robert Morris for Fordham, according to Chris Cappella, who covers the Colonials for***

"We're thrilled that Andy has decided to remain at RMU," Robert Morris athletic director Dr. Craig Coleman said in a release issued moments ago. "He has accomplished a great deal with our program, and we have full confidence that he can take our program to even greater heights."

Once again, more information will be posted as it becomes available.


  1. Believe Toole would be making a mistake taking that job. He will have better opportunities soon

    1. Agreed. Toole is on the rise. Why would he want to join a train wreck program like Fordham?

  2. Dean of Student Services wants Fordham to join Patriot League and is poison to the University. Hope is that this pseudo Athletic Director practice ends, but not likely.