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Cassara signs 5-year extension

Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Mo Cassara

Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Mo Cassara talks to his players during team practice held at Mack Sports Complex. (Nov. 4, 2010) Photo Credit: James Escher

Mo Cassara took over a Hofstra program that was in the midst of a difficult transition.

Cassara, who led the team to a 21-12 overall record and a 14-4 CAA mark, was rewarded with a five-year contract extension, Hofstra AD Jack Hayes and president Stuart Rabinowitz announced on Thursday.

Hofstra finished tied for second in the CAA, it's highest finish in program history. Hofstra reached the CAA semifinal for the first time since 2006.

“Mo did an outstanding job this season in leading us to a second place finish in arguably the greatest year in the Colonial Athletic Association’s history,” Hayes said in a statement. “He has proven his abilities as a coach and as a recruiter, and we’re very excited about the program’s future under his leadership.”

Cassara came aboard during a turbulent time for the Pride. Tom Pecora left for Fordham and his replacement, Tim Welsh, was arrested for DWI and stepped down a short time later.

Two promising freshmen, Chaz Williams and Halil Kanacevic, transferred shortly after Pecora departed. Making matters worse, senior guard Nathaniel Lester missed the entire season with a leg injury, while junior college transfer Dwan McMillan missed most of the season with an injury.

But Hofstra continued its March under the guidance of Cassara and the great play of Charles Jenkins.

“Mo was a big part of the team's success on the court and worked well with our student-athletes. Off the court, he engaged the student body and our alumni and generated excitement for the program with all of our students and fans,” Rabinowitz added. “He is a great ambassador for the Pride athletic program, and we're looking forward to many more years of success with Mo as our head coach.”

Cassara will have his work cut out for him next season as Jenkins, senior center Greg Washington and Greg Kelleher will depart the program.

 

 

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