Following the departure of head coach Tobin Anderson after FDU men’s basketball’s historic run to the Second Round of the NCAA Championship, Knights Director of Athletics Bradford Hurlbut announced Tuesday the elevation of assistant coach Jack Castleberry to the role of head coach. Castleberry becomes the ninth individual to lead the Burgundy and Blue.
Castleberry will be introduced at a press conference inside Stratis Arena on Thursday, March 23 at 10 a.m.
“I am extremely happy to promote Jack Castleberry to be our next head coach,” exclaimed Hurlbut. “I have watched him closely for the last 10 months, as if he was doing a live audition. The way Jack interacts with our players on and off the court, coupled with the respect that they have for him, made him the perfect choice to keep the FDU momentum headed in the right direction. Like Tobin, Jack is a terrific recruiter, having played a major role in landing our impressive incoming class. But most importantly is his high moral character and how he matches our core values: Integrity, Pride, Resilience, Respect and Unity. The future remains extremely bright for the Knights with Jack leading the charge.”
“We are so excited to start this next chapter of FDU Knights men’s basketball with Jack as our head coach,” said University Interim President Michael Avaltroni. “He was a core and integral member of this amazing and historic run and we have every confidence that he will take this amazing momentum and continue to help us to tell the story of our University through the success of our basketball program on and off the court!”
A 2007 graduate of VMI (NCAA Division I – Big South) with a Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Business, Castleberry joined FDU in May 2022 as a member of Anderson’s staff after serving as a longtime assistant at his alma mater and The Citadel. A four-year student-athlete with the Keydets, Castleberry went from walk-on to scholarship player and eventually grew to be the captain of a team that averaged over 100 points a game.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be given the opportunity to lead America’s newest Cinderella as the FDU men’s basketball head coach,” remarked Castleberry. “I am beyond thankful to Tobin and Jodi for bringing me on board and allowing me to be a part of such an incredible run. I’m grateful to Dr. Avaltroni, Brad and Jason for their confidence in me to serve in this new role and continue to build a special program at FDU. Above all, I want to thank our players and look forward to continuing to support them academically, socially and athletically.”
Getting a taste of head coaching duties, Castleberry served as acting head coach for The Citadel against Duke on November 22, 2021. The Bulldogs set the Cameron Indoor Stadium record that night for most three-point field goals by an opponent (18). Directing on floor instruction during games with the Bulldogs, Castleberry defeated his alma mater – and The Citadel’s archrival – VMI, for the first time in 20 years the Bulldogs defeated the Keydets.
Spending two seasons coaching women’s basketball at Siena (NCAA Division I – MAAC), Castleberry recruited MAAC All-Rookie selection Jackie Benitez and planned and instructed individual skill work as coordinator of player development. He also was responsible for assigning scouts while developing opponent game plans.
After a one-year stint at UT-Martin (NCAA Division I – OVC), Castleberry, 38, coached and developed future NBA player Lester Hudson while the team improved to a record of 17-16, an 11-win improvement from the previous season.
At FDU, Castleberry was instrumental in guiding the Knights to a 21-win season and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament round of 32. He was instrumental in the recruiting efforts, scheduling, scouting reports, game strategy and day-to-day operations.
“The FDU administration has made another brilliant hire in Jack Castleberry,” commented Duggar Baucom, Castleberry’s former head coach at VMI and The Citadel. “Jack is tremendous basketball coach, a superb teacher, strategist and authentic communicator. He is more than ready for this opportunity and will build on what they have started at FDU. Jack is a tireless worker and recruiter, but most importantly he is a complete role model of what his players should aspire to be. He is a continual learner who will bring passion to this program each day.
“His guys will love playing for him and Knight Nation will be very proud that he is representing them. Count me as the newest diehard fan of the Knights.”
Castleberry earned a Master of Business Administration at The Citadel in 2021. He resides in Bergen County, N.J. with his wife Kara and daughters Amelia (4) and Harper (2).