Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 11, 2013

Mihalich looks back emotionally on NU years

Niagara Gazette — "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day." — Jim Valvano

Joe Mihalich did Jim Valvano proud on Wednesday.

Upon being introduced as the new men's basketball coach at Hofstra University, Mihalich made jokes about his wife's spending habits and the Buffalo weather.

When questioned by reporters about the challenges he faces at Hofstra and what he was leaving behind at Niagara, Mihalich gave thoughtful answers

And on the phone with the Niagara Gazette later in the day, Mihalich broke down in tears.

"I'm sorry," Mihalich said after a few seconds of silence, "it's hard to talk about leaving that place."

Fifteen years after Niagara gave him his first head coaching opportunity, Mihalich made the difficult decision to move on to greener pastures.

"It was the best 15 years of my life," Mihalich said, still choked up. "I was lucky to be there. You pinch yourself every day for being able to be there with great, great people. It's a really hard place to leave."

Having won 265 games, the most in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference history and second-most at Niagara, and played in two NCAA tournaments and three NITs, Mihalich has had opportunities to leave before. Among the schools he turned down in the past was his alma mater, LaSalle.

So what changed this time around?

"It's hard to put a quantifier on it," Mihalich said. "It's more about a gut feeling. It's a time in my life where this challenge presents itself. It was the right time for me.

"It's like I told the kids last night. They should have dreams and goals and for me, this is place where maybe we can reach our dreams and goals. It's a challenge that excites me. I'm leaving a team that finished first and coming to a team that finished last."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page