After Hofstra basketball coach Tom Pecora left to take the head job at Fordham in the Atlantic 10, some speculated the Pride would go after Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, who built that program into regular-season champions of the America East. But Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore said Hofstra has not asked for permission to speak to Pikiell.
"Why would he go to Hofstra?" Fiore asked. "Stony Brook is a better job."
In a sense, Pecora's decision to move to Fordham said as much. When Hofstra left America East to join the Colonial Athletic Association, it became much more difficult to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Both basically are one-bid leagues, but the CAA has a base of powerful teams in Virginia, and the conference tournament is played in Richmond. Travel is a major issue. By going to the A-10, Pecora improved his chances to get to the NCAA, which awarded that conference three berths this season.
The day Pecora left for Fordham, Fiore met for lunch with Pikiell, who has four years left on a five-year contract. "Steve and I talk every day," Fiore said. "We have a very open and honest relationship personally and professionally.
"I know Steve is very happy at this university, and he loves the community. It's a match made in heaven."