Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 11, 2013

Niagara begins search for new men's hoops coach

Niagara begins search to replace Joe Mihalich

Niagara Gazette — The sun shined bright Wednesday on Long Island, where Joe Mihalich was introduced as the new men's basketball coach at Hofstra University.

Petulant rain poured on Niagara University, where the Purple Eagles are without a coach for the first time in 15 years.

"First (I) want to say to Joe how thankful we are for his many years of service here at Niagara," first-year athletic director Tom Crowley said at a press conference inside the Gallagher Center. "The program is in wonderful shape and Joe was a big, big factor in making Niagara basketball what it is today. The tradition has been wonderful for a long, long time and Joe was a big contributor to that."

The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, university president, said in a news release, “I have always believed that Joe was a very good coach on the basketball court but, more importantly, he has been a tremendous coach for our players and students off the court, as a leader, role model and mentor, as evidenced by this year’s Skip Prosser Award. We wish him great success. For the Niagara community, he will always be a Purple Eagle."

Crowley said he had been in regular contact with Mihalich since the end of the season, and was not surprised by his decision to accept a more lucrative contract from the Colonial Athletic Association school.

"Probably more surprised that Joe was here as long as he was, considering the success that he's had," Crowley said.

Crowley quoted John Wooden in saying that Niagara would move "quickly, but not in a hurry," to find its next coach.

"We'd like to move as fast as we need to move," he said. "We want to be thorough and be complete. But we won't rush."

The university will not contract with a search firm to identify candidates, Crowley said.

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