Stony Brook basketball coach Steve Pikiell recently earned a contract extension through the 2016-17 season, and he added to his legacy on Thursday by announcing he and his wife, Kate, are making a $50,000 donation to the school.
Pikiell’s basketball program will receive $25,000, and the other $25,000 will go to Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital, athletic director Jim Fiore said in the announcement. An anonymous donor will match Pikiell’s contribution to the hospital, bringing the total gift to $75,000. Pikiell’s donation is the largest ever given by an active staff member of SBU’s athletic department.
“Stony Brook University means so much to my family and me,” Pikiell said in a statement. “For us, it was the obvious decision to give back to the university, the hospital and the community that have given so much to our family. We love living in Stony Brook, love engaging with the Three Village community and love being a part of Seawolves athletics.”
Over the past three seasons, Pikiell’s teams have won two regular-season titles in the America East, enjoyed a pair of 20-win seasons and received two berths to the NIT postseason tournament. “As a university, we have come so far, so fast, and we truly are headed towards even bigger and brighter successes,” Pikiell said in the statement. “I could not be more excited to be a part of it.”
Those words should be comforting to Seawolves basketball fans, who have witnessed a program turnaround under the coach. But Pikiell’s success has attracted interest from other schools, and it’s possible his alma mater, Connecticut, might come calling if Huskies coach Jim Calhoun steps down in the near future, as he has hinted he might do.
“This gift from coach Pikiell and his family was unexpected,” said Dr. Margaret McGovern, the physician-in-chief of Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital. “We are grateful that, when making this gift, he thought of the smallest and most vulnerable patients here at Stony Brook.”
Fiore said he hopes Pikiell’s gift “will help foster new gifts from our constituents as we continue the upward trajectory of Stony Brook Athletics.”