Niagara Gazette

April 9, 2013

Mihalich reportedly leaving NU for Hofstra

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette —

After 15 years as the men's basketball coach at Niagara University, Joe Mihalich is apparently going to accept the same job at Hofstra University, Pete Thammel of Sports Illustrated and Newsday on Long Island reported late Tuesday.

Mihalich spent all day Tuesday on the Hofstra campus and agreed to a deal, a report on said. A press conference at Hofstra to announce Mihalich as the new head coach is expected to take place sometime today.

NU Athletics and Mihalich did not return phone calls by the Niagara Gazette Tuesday night ton confirm the news.

From 1998-2013 at Niagara, Mihalich posted a 265-203 record, while leading the team to two NCAA tournament appearances, including a Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title this past season. 

Mihalich, who was named MAAC coach of the year this season, also received the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award given to coaches who achieve success on the court and display moral integrity off it. 

He is most known for rebuilding a troubled NU program, which ended a 35-year drought to earn a 2005 NCAA Tournament berth.

Mihalich leaves behind the youngest team in the MAAC, including All-Conference sophomore guards Antoine Mason and Juan'ya Green. Mason thrived in Mihalichs' offense, averaging 18.7 points per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field. 

Green averaged 16.2 ppg and and posted 4.9 assists per game. The teammates were the nucleus of a team that fell to Iona, 79-73 in the semifinals of the MAAC tournament.

After the loss, Mihalich spoke about how proud he was of his team for making it to the National Invitational Tournament despite the disappointing loss to Iona.

"We are going to wake up in a day or two and just be tickled to death, excited as can be to be in such a prestigious postseason tournament," Mihalich said after lossing in the MAAC tournament. "It's an incredible accomplishment for this team. We're as heartbroken as can be. The dream season is to be cutting down the nets. But to be in the NIT is something to be proud of."

Mihalich stands to inherit a Hofstra team that finished the regular season 7-25 overall and 4-14 in the Colonial Athletic Association last season. It is a program that has seen its share of off-the court problems, struggling to remain NCAA-eligible after four players were arrested in November for allegedly robbing several dorm rooms on campus. 

Mihalich's 265 career wins are the most by any coach in Niagara history — and the most by any coach ever in the MAAC.