Tim Welsh is all smiles at a press conference announcing...

Tim Welsh is all smiles at a press conference announcing that he is the new men's basketball coach at Hofstra University. (March 31, 2010) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

New Hofstra basketball coach Tim Welsh is about to name longtime friend Steve DeMeo his lead assistant, Newsday has learned.

Welsh was selected last week as the replacement for Tom Pecora, who left after nine seasons to take over at Fordham. DeMeo could be named today.

DeMeo worked under Welsh at Iona and was the associate head coach when the two were at Providence. He also assisted at Central Florida for a year and spent this past season as the head coach at Division II Newberry College (S.C).

DeMeo, a New York City native, is known as a keen recruiter and was responsible for signing Ryan Gomes at Providence. Gomes later was drafted by the Celtics. DeMeo has strong ties in the New York area, having coached at the junior college level at Monroe CC and Bronx CC. He was an assistant at C.W. Post in the 1989-90 season.

Welsh also is zeroing in on two other assistants with strong recruiting ability. Mo Cassara, who has spent the last four seasons under Al Skinner at Boston College, is under serious consideration. Also on the radar is Allen Griffin, an assistant at St. Francis (N.Y.).

Griffin, who played for Syracuse under Jim Boeheim, also assisted at Providence. Griffin attended high school at Robeson in Brooklyn.

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