Head coach B.J. Dunne announced Wednesday the hiring of Matthew Fava as an assistant coach for the 2016-17 season, replacing Mike McSloy, who recently accepted an assistant coaching position at New York University.
“I am thrilled to welcome Matt to our family,” said Dunne. “I have known Matt for many years and I have always been impressed with his strong core values and his basketball IQ. Matt’s enthusiasm for the game, our players and for the journey will be an asset to our program on and off the court.”
“I am extremely fortunate and thankful to be the assistant men’s basketball coach at Vassar,” said Fava. “It is such an exciting opportunity to work with a good friend for whom I have such respect as a coach and leader. Coach Dunne has the program going in a great direction and his enthusiasm is contagious.”
Fava recently spent two years as the coordinator of men’s basketball operations at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. In addition to his role as camp director, Fava was responsible for team travel, video and recruiting databases, and all aspects of scheduling.
During the 2015-2016 season, the Crusaders set a program record with five postseason victories and became the first team in Patriot League history to win four consecutive road games to capture the conference tournament championship. Holy Cross went on to defeat Southern University in the First Four, the program’s first NCAA Tournament win in 63 years. In the 2014-2015 season, the team captured the program’s first win over a nationally ranked opponent in 37 years, defeating #25 Harvard University.
From 2012-2014, Fava was the graduate assistant men’s basketball coach at Castleton University in Castleton, VT. Primarily serving as recruiting coordinator and camp director, Fava also scouted opponents, facilitated player workouts, and managed the team’s social media. One of his recruits, Pavin Parrish (Rochester HS, VT), scored the most points in the history of Vermont high school basketball (2,479), was named the 2014 Gatorade Player of the Year in the state, and became the first NAC Rookie of the Year in Castleton men’s basketball history. Fava was also in charge of the team’s “special teams package,” designing and calling plays on inbounding and short-clock situations.
In the 2013-2014 season, Castleton captured its first ever win over a nationally ranked opponent (#9 WPI) and set a program record for most conference wins in a season (16). The Spartans earned a bid to the ECAC New England Championship Tournament, and placed three players on all-conference teams. During the 2012-2013 season, the Spartans had two players earn first-team all-conference honors, reached the NAC Tournament Championship, and their ECAC quarterfinal victory marked the program’s first post-season win since leaving the NAIA in 2001.
From 2009-2012, Fava served as the assistant men’s basketball coach at Connecticut College in New London, CT. One of his key recruits, Matt Vadas (Manasquan HS, NJ), finished his career as the Camels’ all-time leader in points (1,697) and made three-pointers (239), and earned All-NESCAC honors his senior year. In addition to his role as recruiting coordinator, Fava also scouted opponents, managed team travel, and designed and implemented the team’s strength and conditioning program.
As an undergraduate at Connecticut College, Fava was a student assistant coach, head manager, and practice player for the men’s basketball team, and received the Andrew H. Chait ’82 Award for service and commitment to the athletics department. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2009, and went on to earn his master’s degree in education from Castleton University in 2014.
“Matt is a seasoned coach who has experienced a conference tournament championship and competing in the NCAA Tournament, something we are striving for here at Vassar,” said Dunne. “His insights into how we can continue to grow our program nationally will be invaluable.”