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Joe Mihalich to transition to new role with Hofstra athletic department

Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich after cutting down the

Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich after cutting down the net following the victory over Northeastern in the CAA championship last March. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

Hofstra is beginning a national search for a new men’s basketball coach to replace Joe Mihalich as he transitions to a new role as special adviser to Pride athletic director Rick Cole Jr., the school announced Friday.

Mihalich was hired before the 2013-14 season and was 141-92 in seven seasons before taking a medical leave for the 2020-21 season. In his last season, the Pride went 26-8 and won the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship and accompanying NCAA Tournament bid. They were to make their first appearance in the NCAAs since 2001 before the tourney was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I always said to my sons and my teams ‘end on a make’ . . . and that’s what I did," Mihalich said in the school announcement. "I love Hofstra University and the entire Pride family. Having that championship moment in 2020 is something I, and the entire Hofstra family, will never forget. I am thankful for all of the student-athletes that I have coached and the staff members that were with me over the past eight years. I look forward to serving the Hofstra Pride in a new role and seeing our programs continue to flourish."

Mike Farrelly, a top Mihalich assistant, served as acting coach this season as the Pride went 13-10. Their season ended with a CAA Tournament loss to Elon.

Farrelly and Speedy Claxton, who are on the current staff, are expected to be interviewed in the search for a replacement.

"Coach Mihalich has been an incredible leader, educator, and steward of our men’s basketball program over the past eight years," Cole said. "His leadership from day one has allowed our program to experience tremendous levels of success . . . Joe is a wonderful ambassador for our University and I am personally thrilled to have him as a trusted colleague here at Hofstra.

"We are so grateful for his years of service on the sidelines here at Hofstra."

After going 10-23 in his first season with Hofstra, Mihalich led the Pride to four 20-win seasons, including a program-record 27 victories in 2018-19, and three regular-season championships. He twice took them to the NIT.

He recruited and developed two-time CAA Player of the Year Justin Wright-Foreman, who went on to be chosen in the 2019 NBA Draft, and Juan’ya Green, who won the award in 2016.

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