Joe Mihalich, who guided Hofstra back to postseason in just his second year at the helm, will be around longer than initially planned after signing contract extension. (Photo courtesy of Big Apple Buckets)
When Joe Mihalich arrived at Hofstra just over two years ago, he was emphatic in admitting what lured him to Hempstead after a productive 15-year run at Niagara in which he became the winningest coach in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference history during his time on Monteagle Ridge.
"I would never leave unless it was a special place, a new challenge," he remarked in his introductory press conference in April 2013, "and that's what we're going to get right here."
Only two years into a six-year contract inked upon his hire, both coach and university have agreed that Hofstra is special enough to merit a contract extension for Mihalich, who guided the Pride to a 20-14 record this past season, a campaign that culminated with a home game in the College Basketball Invitational, the first postseason game for the former Flying Dutchmen since an appearance in the same tournament four years ago.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my first two seasons here at this great university," Mihalich stated in a release issued by the university this afternoon. "The program has made great strides on the court, in the classroom, and in the community, and my thanks goes out to all who have helped make our successes possible."
Mihalich, 58, is 30-37 since replacing Mo Cassara, but engineered a 10-win turnaround from his first season, thanks in large part to Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley; both of whom followed him from Niagara, as well as SMU transfer Brian Bernardi. All three, plus sixth-year senior Dion Nesmith, averaged eleven or more points per game for the Pride, who return everyone from last year's roster with the exception of Nesmith and Moussa Kone.
"We are very pleased with the work that Joe and his staff has done over the last two years," said Hofstra athletic director Jeff Hathaway. "Joe has enhanced our success in the classroom and on the court. The future is very bright for the Hofstra basketball program under Joe's leadership, and I'm thrilled that the contract extension will enable him to be at Hofstra for many years to come."
Terms of the extension were not disclosed. Mihalich begins the 2015-16 season just five wins shy of 300 for his career.