Former Fordham Interim Head Coach DePaoli joins Hofstra staff

Hofstra University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Speedy Claxton continued to mold his first coaching staff as today he named Mike DePaoli an assistant coach. 

DePaoli joins the Hofstra staff after spending the past 11 seasons at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York.  

“Mike is a tremendous coach and his work ethic speaks for itself, having started at Hofstra as a graduate assistant to being the interim head coach at Fordham this past year,” commented Claxton. “Mike is a defensive-minded coach and he brings a wealth of knowledge that will help us on that side of the court. Just like Serge Clement, Mike will help us continue to recruit and develop players at a high level.”

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to return to Hofstra and look forward to building upon their recent success,” mentioned DePaoli. “It is an exciting time for Hofstra basketball and I am humbled to be a part of it. The chance to work with Speedy and help him put his stamp on the program, this time as the head coach, is an unbelievable opportunity and I look forward to helping him to do that. We will work tirelessly to continue to build on the foundation and make everyone in the Hofstra community proud.”

DePaoli served in a variety of roles at Fordham, beginning his tenure with the Atlantic 10-member Rams in 2010 as the director of basketball operations and eventually concluding his time at Fordham as the interim head coach earlier this year. 

From 2014 to 2020, DePaoli was an assistant coach with the Rams before earning a promotion to associate head coach.

Devoted to player development, DePaoli helped the Rams earn back-to-back Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Awards in 2015 and 2016 and numerous Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors as well. He also played a key role in the recruitment of several outstanding student-athletes including Joel Soriano, Antwon Portley, Chuba Ohams, Tyrone Perry, and Jesse Bunting. DePaoli is just as strong off the court as administratively he managed the program’s practice plans and scouting reports. He also served as the men’s basketball liaison to both the admissions and development areas at Fordham. DePaoli oversaw the academics for the Rams as well, helping guide the team to above a 3.0 grade point average for nine consecutive seasons. DePaoli  was also a founding member of the “A10 Connecting for Change” group that was formed to empower Atlantic 10 student-athletes and give them a voice in the fight against systemic racism. 

Very knowledgeable with his defensive philosophy, DePaoli helped the Rams to their best defensive ranking in the KenPom era (since 1997) and Fordham held its opponents to its lowest points per game average in 36 years during the 2019-20 campaign. 

DePaoli began his time at Fordham as the director of basketball operations, serving in that role from 2010 to 2014. During his time in this role he assisted the program in a variety of areas including academics, alumni relations, camps, game schedules, and team travel. He also helped establish “Ram Town”, a midnight madness-type event that attracted 3,000 students per year. The Fordham basketball camps attracted a multitude of local teams and he also played a key role in much of the program’s strong community service presence. 

No stranger to Hofstra, DePaoli spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach with the Pride from 2008 to 2010. During his previous tenure in Hempstead, the program averaged 20 wins per season over his two campaigns and earned a bid to the College Basketball Invitational in 2009-10. He assisted in the development of Charles Jenkins, while also preparing scouting reports and overseeing all video work for the team. 

Prior to his time at Hofstra, DePaoli served as a graduate assistant for one season at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. He assisted in the recruitment of a pair of players (Adrian Mills and Ryan Woods) that would go on to have stellar collegiate playing careers for the Setters. 

Very strong in the community, DePaoli serves on the scholarship board of the Con-Edison Student Athlete Scholarship Fund and is a member of the Katie McBride Foundation that raises money in the fight against pediatric cancer. He is also active with Team Impact and serves as a guest reader in local schools. 

A 2007 graduate of The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, with a degree in social studies adolescent education, DePaoli played in a pair of NCAA Tournaments for the Golden Knights and the team averaged 22 wins per season over his career. A nominee for the Northeast-10 Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007, he was a team captain and starter for the 2007 squad. DePaoli went to high school at North Salem High School in North Salem, New York, where he is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,767 points.

DePaoli and his wife, Lisa, live in Babylon, New York, with their daughter, Liliana.

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