North Babylon's Erik Smiles often said he'd give his right arm to coach the men's basketball team at LIU Post. Turns out, he just had to display his heart. That is what finally won him the job six years after the now- former Division III coach at Farmingdale State first applied for the D-II opening at Post.
Smiles went after the position three times. "When I talked to him this time, it was about passion for the position," athletic director Bryan Collins said. "He knew about Post, knew about the conference, knew about our department and the success of our other teams. It was an opportunity where we saw he's been a head coach, he's been successful and his reward is to move upward and onward. We feel this is a great job. He felt the same.''
Smiles, introduced last week, said, "I want to be here for a long time. That's not just coach-speak. I'm a Long Island guy. I stayed at Farmingdale for 11 years, nine as a head coach. There were very few jobs I was interested in. That's how I feel about Post. This is a place I foresee myself maybe for the rest of my career. My role models are Tom Galeazzi, Bruce Webster, Herb Magee at Philadelphia."
Galeazzi spent 25 years at Post and Webster 34 at Bridgeport, where Smiles played college ball. Magee is in his 46th season.
"Those are the guys I look up to," Smiles said. "My dream job has always been a Division II powerhouse. That's what you have in Post."