Ali Ton, former associate head coach at UC Irvine, was named assistant men’s basketball coach at Fordham University announced head coach Jeff Neubauer.
“Ali and I have known and continually developed a respect for each other since his playing days at Davidson,” said Neubauer. “As a player, he was a competitor and a winner. My sense is that his competitiveness has grown even stronger through the years. I look forward to coaching alongside Ali.”
Ton has been a member of the staff at UC Irvine for the past six years, the past five as the associate head coach. He guided the Anteaters to 93 wins over the past four seasons and postseason appearances in each of those years. Last winter, UCI went 28-10, 13-3 in the Big West Conference, setting school marks for most wins in a season, most non-conference victories (15) and most road wins (13). The Anteaters won four postseason games to advance to the finals of the 2016 CollegeInsiders.com Tournament.
In 2014-2015, Ton helped UCI to the program’s first NCAA Division I Tournament berth, as the Anteaters won the Big West Conference Tournament for the first time in school history to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tourney. UCI took three-time national champion Louisville to the wire in the NCAA Second Round, falling 57-55 to the Cardinals in Seattle, Wash.
The 2013-2014 Anteaters went 23-12 and played in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) while the 2012-2013 squad was 21-16 and appeared in the CIT.
During Ton’s tenure at UCI, the Anteater consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top defensive teams. Last year, the Anteaters ranked third in the nation in field goal defense (.383) while in 2014-2015, the Anteaters set a new school record for lowest scoring defense (62.1 points per game) and were 15-1 when limiting the opposition to under 40-percent shooting from the field.
A highly-acclaimed recruiter in the U.S. and internationally, Ton was an assistant coach at Radford University for the three seasons before his stay at UCI. One of his recruiting highlights at Radford was All-American and two-time Big South Player of the Year, Art Parakhouski from Minsk, Belarus. Radford reached the NCAA Tournament in 2008-2009 for the second time in the school’s history.
Ton began his coaching career at his alma mater, Davidson College, helping the Wildcats to the 2004 Southern Conference South Division regular-season title. Ton moved on to Western Carolina University following that season and then to Binghamton University for two seasons.
In the summer of 2005, he was an assistant with the Turkish National U-20 team that competed at the European Championships.
A standout point guard at Los Alamitos High School, Ton earned All-CIF honors and was MVP of the Sunset League in 1995. He still holds the steals and assists record for the Los Al Griffins.
An accomplished point guard at Davidson, Ton finished his collegiate career as the all-time assists leader and was second in steals. The 1999 graduate helped the Wildcats reach the NIT Tournament in 1996 and the NCAA Tournament in 1998.
Prior to moving to the coaching ranks, Ton played professional basketball in Turkey for four years. In his final year of pro ball, he was a member of Galatasaray, one of the largest athletic clubs in the world.
The son of Necmi Ton, a professional coach in his native country of Turkey, Ali Ton earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson in 1999. He and his wife Elizabeth, a Southern California native, have a daughter, Leyla, and son, Kaya.
Photo Courtesy Fordham Athletics