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Hofstra basketball coach Joe Mihalich signs contract extension

Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Joe Mihalich

Hofstra University men's basketball head coach Joe Mihalich talks to his team during a timeout in a CAA game against the College of Charleston at Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. Hofstra lost by a score of 86-85. Credit: James Escher

Hofstra men’s basketball coach Joe Mihalich has signed a contract extension that athletic director Jeff Hathaway said will give the program “stability for many years to come.’’ Mihalich originally signed a six-year deal beginning with the 2014-15 season.

“I’m tickled to death,’’ Mihalich, 61, said.

The extension was the product of Hathaway, university president Stuart Rabinowitz and incoming athletic director Rick Cole Jr., who begins his tenure in late May after being hired from Iona. “Jeff took it to the president, and then, of course, the president, rightfully so pulled Rick into this, too,’’ Mihalich said. ``It was all three guys and that’s what makes me feel so good. Getting the extension is one thing, but knowing that people appreciate you, that’s the most important thing.’’

Rabinowitz recently said his goal is for the basketball program to return to the NCAA Tournament. It has not qualified since the 2000-2001 season. Mihalich, who is 88-76 in five seasons with two 20-win seasons, said he is on the same page as the president.

“We’re a lot alike, that’s what he wants to do, that’s what I want to do,’’ Mihalich said. “What I’m proud of right from the get-go, the battle cry was ‘Let’s have a chance to win one every year.’ Put your program into position to win the championship every year. The last four, we did. We’ve had a chance to win it. Knock on wood, if we get a couple more recruits here we can do it next year, too. People respect us now, they know our program is for real. We’re planning to win a championship.’’

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