Steve Pikiell, the 2016 America East Conference Coach of the Year who led Stony Brook to six postseason appearances over the past seven years, was named the 19th head coach in the history of the Rutgers men’s basketball program on March 22, 2016. A two-time team captain at point guard under Naismith Hall of Fame Head Coach Jim Calhoun at Connecticut, he arrives “On the Banks” with 25 years of coaching experience, including the past 11 seasons as head coach of the Seawolves.
“Everywhere Steve Pikiell has been, he’s won,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Patrick Hobbs. “But most impressive, is that everywhere he’s been, they started at the bottom and rose to the top. He will bring that same dedication and energy to build a successful program at Rutgers. That work has already begun.”
Steve is a proven winner and program builder. He did an outstanding job building the Stony Brook program, maintaining success over a long period of time. He’ll do a great job at Rutgers.
The 48-year old Pikiell orchestrated an impressive turnaround at Stony Brook. Prior to his arrival, the Seawolves had limited success after completing their transition from the Division III to Division I level in 1999. Following a 4-24 record in his initial season, Stony Brook showed marked improvement in each successive campaign, culminating in the school’s first NCAA Tournament berth this past season. During his tenure, the Seawolves won four America East regular season championships, achieved 22 or more victories on six occasions and captured five conference player of the year awards. A four time America East Coach of the Year, Pikiell compiled a 119-48 (.713) record over the past five seasons.
“This is a dream job for me,” said Pikiell. “I am so excited about the vision that Pat (Hobbs) has for Rutgers Athletics and I’m very fortunate to be a part of it. There is so much potential here. Rutgers has all the ingredients – great location, great University, great people and a great conference. When evaluating the position, it checked all the boxes for me. I look forward to building a program that the Rutgers community will be proud of.”
A top tactician with a strong reputation for player development, Pikiell has mentored the America East Player of the Year (Warney, 2013-16; Tommy Brenton, 2012-13; Muhammed El-Amin, 2009-10) in five of the conference’s last seven seasons.
In addition to success on the court, Pikiell’s program also achieved success in the classroom. The team’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate score was 995 in the two most recent NCAA reports, placing it among the top 10 percent of all Division I men’s basketball programs. The Seawolves also boasted multiple selections to the America East All-Academic team during his tenure.
“Pat Hobbs has found a tremendous leader, teacher and coach, who I know will help build a basketball program successful on the court and in the classroom. Steve Pikiell is an outstanding choice and I am confident that he and Pat will work together to create a strong Scarlet Knights’ basketball program,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi.Read More