Tobin Anderson wished to take a while to get pleasure from Fairleigh Dickinson’s jaw-dropping look within the NCAA Match, however, as Iona’s new males’s basketball coach instructed The Publish, “The truth is that’s not how issues work in school basketball.”
And so, solely 72 hours after Anderson led FDU over Purdue in solely the second upset of a No. 1 seed by a No. 16 seed in NCAA Match historical past, he determined to just accept Iona’s provide to take over after Rick Pitino’s departure for St. John’s.
“I simply love the truth that they got here to me and made me really feel wished,” mentioned Anderson, who was a finalist for the job three years in the past earlier than Pitino headed to New Rochelle. “They knew me, I knew them. So, we obtained residence [following a 78-70 loss to Florida Atlantic on Sunday] and I knew by [Monday] afternoon. It was a achieved deal.”
Although the choice was quick, it wasn’t simple, Anderson mentioned. Not after taking a program that had gained 4 video games final season to 21 wins and an automated Northeast Convention event bid en path to turning into the speak of the NCAA.
“You recognize, we simply made school basketball historical past collectively,” Anderson mentioned. “After which two days later, I gotta depart, and we will’t be collectively for some time. That’s unhappy.”
However Anderson mentioned he heard phrases of assist for his transfer from everybody on campus, together with the gamers he knowledgeable of his resolution Tuesday morning earlier than heading to Iona to satisfy along with his new roster.
“They understood it was an opportunity to maneuver up, an opportunity to advance,” Anderson mentioned. “However it was onerous for me as a result of I personally like the fellows we have been bringing again. … They’re such high-character guys. … I [told them] I simply wished them to be a part of my household. We’ll come again in 20 years and say, ‘Effectively, that was particular,’ however I would like them to be a part of my life going ahead.”
First up, although, is attempting to take the following step for an Iona program that gained 64 video games and reached the event twice in three years underneath Pitino. It’s a return, of kinds, for Anderson, who spent two years teaching within the MAAC as an assistant with Iona rival Siena from 2011-13. The 51-year-old Iowa native has a plan already in place.
“You hear the quote they need to be just like the Gonzaga of the East, and I consider that,” Anderson mentioned. “It’s not empty phrases.
“I believe the objective is all the time to get to the NCAA Match. That’s onerous, and, in fact, it’s a must to win the convention event. After which how will we simply do what we tried to do at FDU, and that’s win a recreation or two, get to a Candy 16.
“That’s a lofty objective, however we’d prefer to be a crew that goes to event and stays there some time. You all the time need to go someplace and do one thing that’s not been achieved or not been achieved in a very long time.”