Tobin Anderson leaving Fairleigh Dickinson to replace Rick Pitino as Iona coach
Iona basketball lost Rick Pitino as its head coach on Monday but is ready to have a new one now.
Tobin Anderson, who in one season at Fairleigh Dickinson led the Knights to the NCAA men's tournament, one which included an historic upset of Big Ten champion and top-seeded Purdue, is Iona's next basketball coach, the school announced Tuesday.
"Iona University represents everything my family and I were looking for in a school, a basketball program and a campus atmosphere," Anderson said in a statement. "Our goal is to build upon the tremendous tradition of Iona basketball and elevate the program to greater heights."
Anderson replaces Pitino, who stepped down on Monday to leave for St. John's.
It's been a whirlwind for Anderson. In his first season coaching at the Division I level, he guided the Knights to a 21-16 record and they reached the Northeast Conference tournament final. They lost to Merrimack by one-point in the conference championship game, but Merrimack was ineligible to compete in the postseason as a transitioning school from Division II.
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As a result, the Knights got to represent the NEC and compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019. Under Anderson, the shortest team in Division I basketball was able to navigate its way out of the First Four in a win over Texas Southern, then pulled off the massive upset over Purdue.
It was only the second time in men's NCAA men's tournament history that a 16-seed upset a No. 1 seed.
"We are very excited to introduce Tobin Anderson as Iona University's men's basketball head coach," Iona athletic director Matthew Glovaski. "We have long known him to be a fantastic coach and an even better person. Now, with his team's impressive run in the NCAA tournament, everyone paying attention to March Madness also knows this. We're delighted that he will be at the helm of our men's basketball program."
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Anderson has had success with building up small programs into winners at every school he's been to from the Division III to Division I level.
He went a combined 185-129 as a Division III coach at Clarkson and Hamilton form 1999 to 2011, but he had even more success when he jumped up to Division II, building nearby St. Thomas Aquinas into a powerhouse.
Over nine seasons with the Spartans, he went 209-62 overall, and they won six East Coast Conference Tournament titles and five regular-season crowns.
Anderson takes over for a Iona program that has had plenty of success over the last decade. The Gaels have won seven MAAC tournament championships and five MAAC regular season titles since 2013.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Iona replaces Rick Pitino with Fairleigh Dickinson's Tobin Anderson