DeMeo, Pressey added to St. John’s Basketball staff

New St. John’s head basketball coach Mike Anderson has added Steve DeMeo to his staff as an assistant coach, and Paul Pressey as the special assistant to the head coach.

Steve DeMeo

Possessing three decades of experience across all levels of the college game, Queens native DeMeo most recently served as the head coach of Northwest Florida State College, where he led the Raiders to a national title and was named the Spalding NJCAA National Coach of the Year in 2015.  Under DeMeo’s direction, Northwest Florida State turned in a six-year record of 170-27 (.863), earned an additional berth in the 2017 NJCAA Final Four and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

“Steve is a great addition to our coaching staff,” said Anderson. “He is a terrific coach and recruiter who has tremendous experience in all facets of college basketball. Steve’s coaching background in the metropolitan area and within the BIG EAST Conference will be an important asset to our program.”

Under DeMeo’s leadership, the Raiders captured the Panhandle Conference Championship five-straight years (2015-19) and earned four Florida College System Activities Association State Tournament Championships in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

A veteran coach with a track record of success, DeMeo also held lead roles at Division II Newberry College, as well as Monroe College and Bronx Community College. Overall, DeMeo has accumulated a 265-97 (.732) overall record as a head coach.

“It is an honor to join Coach Anderson’s staff and begin this journey with him at St. John’s,” said DeMeo. “Having grown up in Queens, I have always had an affinity for St. John’s basketball and admired the program’s history and tradition. I look forward to contributing to a culture that is rooted in hard work and accountability in order to achieve our collective goals on and off the court.”

In his six seasons at Northwest Florida State, DeMeo collected FCSAA/NJCAA Region VIII Coach of the year honors four times (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019) and earned Panhandle Conference Coach of the Year recognition each of his last five seasons (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). DeMeo was also tabbed the top junior college coach in the country by Basketball Times in 2018 and received the Red Auerbach Coach of the Year award at the 2017 NCAA Division I Final Four.

Widely known for his recruiting acumen, DeMeo guided Oregon-signee Chris Duarte to NJCAA Division I National Player of the Year honors this past season while 40 of DeMeo’s former players have gone on to play in the Division I ranks. In addition, 42 of his 42 sophomores graduated at Northwest Florida State.

Prior to taking over at Northwest Florida State, DeMeo spent 17 years as an assistant at the Division I level, enjoying successful stints at Iona, Providence, UCF and Hofstra.  His longest tenure came at Providence, where he served as an assistant from 1998-2004 before being elevated to the position of associate head coach from 2004-08.  While at Providence, DeMeo played a critical role in recruiting Ryan Gomes, a two-time First Team All-BIG EAST selection and consensus First Team All-American who went on to play the better part of a decade in the NBA.  Gomes was selected 50th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2005 NBA Draft after scoring 2,138 points in his four years with the Friars and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2006.

During his time at Providence, DeMeo was named one of the top-25 assistant coaches in Division I by and helped the Friars to five postseason appearances, including a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament. DeMeo led the Friars’ recruiting efforts and was instrumental in landing future NBA Draft selections MarShon Brooks, the 25th overall pick in 2011, and second round draftees Herbert Hill and Marcus Douthit.

DeMeo followed Head Coach Tim Welsh to Providence from Iona, where the pair worked together from 1995-98.  During those three years in New Rochelle, DeMeo helped lead the Gaels to a 70-22 record and three postseason appearances, including a berth in the 1998 NCAA Tournament after going 27-6.  Iona qualified for the NIT in 1996 and 1997. In addition, the Gaels captured the MAAC regular season title every year and never had a season with fewer than 21 wins during DeMeo’s tenure.

DeMeo’s most recent coaching stop in the metropolitan area was at Hofstra, where he served as the Pride’s associate head coach from 2010-13. In his first season at Hofstra, DeMeo helped lead the Pride to a 21-12 overall mark with a then-school record 14 Colonial Athletic Association victories and a CBI appearance. At Hofstra, DeMeo coached three-time Haggerty Award winner Charles Jenkins, who went on to play in the NBA for the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers.

Prior to joining the Hofstra staff, DeMeo was the head coach at Newberry College for the 2009-10 campaign. Inheriting a roster that returned just 2.9 points per game, DeMeo successfully recruited 10 student-athletes for the 2009-10 season, including South Atlantic Conference All-Freshman Team unanimous selection Ryan Barnes.

DeMeo spent the 2008-09 campaign as an assistant coach at Central Florida. At UCF, he worked closely with 2009 Conference USA Player of the Year Jermaine Taylor, who finished his senior season ranked third in Division I averaging 26.2 points per game. DeMeo also mentored Conference USA All Freshman Team selection A.J. Rompza.

After beginning his collegiate coaching career as an an assistant at Queensborough Community College (1988-89) and LIU-Post (1989-90), DeMeo received his first head coaching opportunity at Bronx Community College from 1990-93. In his first season at the helm, the Broncos claimed the City University of New York Athletic Conference championship.

From 1993-95, DeMeo enjoyed unprecedented success at Monroe Junior College, where he produced a 53-8 record (.869) in his two seasons leading the Mustangs. DeMeo earned National Junior College Athletic Association Region XV Coach of the Year honors following each of his campaigns in New Rochelle. In DeMeo’s final season, Monroe finished the regular season as the top-ranked NJCAA team in the country.

A native of Bayside, DeMeo earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Paul Pressey

“Without a doubt, Paul Pressey will be an invaluable member of our basketball staff and vital to our future success,” said Anderson. “Paul has an innovative mind for the game coupled with tremendous experience as both a coach and a player.

“As a former teammate, I can attest to Paul’s commitment to success and achieving it the right way, through hard work and dedication. Paul has tremendous basketball insight and a passion to share his knowledge. We are fortunate to have him here at St. John’s.”

Pressey, a former teammate of Anderson’s at Tulsa under legendary head coach Nolan Richardson, brings more than three decades of experience at the highest professional level with him to Queens.  The 20th pick in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Bucks, Pressey played his first eight years with Milwaukee before undertaking a pair of seasons with the San Antonio Spurs and a brief stint with Golden State.

“I am really excited to begin this new chapter of my basketball career at St. John’s and work alongside someone I have great admiration for as both a coach and a person,” said Pressey. “Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to learn from some of the great minds in our sport. I look forward to sharing this knowledge and assisting our coaching staff in any way possible to help elevate the St. John’s basketball program to new heights.”

Widely regarded as one of pioneers of the “point-forward” position, the 6-foot-5 Pressey averaged 5.1 assists per game during his NBA career. He led the Bucks in that category for five consecutive seasons between 1984-89, including a career-best 7.8 assists per outing during the 1985-86 campaign.  That season, Pressey ranked seventh in the league in assists with 623.

Pressey was also named to the NBA All-Defensive Team for three straight years between 1984-87, including a pair of first team selections in 1984-85 and 1985-86.  In 1985-86, Pressey finished seventh in the NBA with 168 steals.

Pressey retired after the 1991-92 season only to be pulled into action during his first season as an assistant with Golden State when injuries wreaked havoc on the Warriors’ lineup.  Pressey played 18 games that season before being injured himself.

At Tulsa, Pressey earned Third Team All-America honors from the Associated Press in 1982 after leading the Golden Hurricane to an NCAA Tournament appearance alongside Anderson.  The pair also won an NIT title together at Tulsa in 1981.

Pressey spent two seasons on staff at Golden State before moving to San Antonio, where he served six years as an assistant with the Spurs.  During his tenure in San Antonio, Pressey helped the organization win its first NBA title in 1999 after playing a key role in the development of 1997 top draft pick Tim Duncan.

After his time in San Antonio, Pressey undertook stints with the Orlando Magic (2000-04), Boston Celtics (2004-06), New Orleans Hornets (2007-10) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-2013).  Most recently, Pressey served as an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers from 2014-16.

Each of his last three assistant coaching placements came on the staffs of 2008 NBA Coach of the Year Byron Scott.  In Orlando and Boston, Pressey worked under 2000 NBA Coach of the Year and 2008 NBA Champion Doc Rivers.

Pressey and his wife, Elizabeth, have four children.  Ashley is their oldest daughter. Both of the couple’s sons, Phil and Matt, played for Anderson at Missouri.  Phil was the no. 42 recruit in the high school class of 2010 according to ESPN and went on twice finish as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award.  Pressey’s daughter, Angie, earned All-America honors in volleyball at UC Berkeley.

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