Hofstra set to honor former coach with “Joe Mihalich Day”

Hofstra University and the Department of Athletics will honor former Head Coach Joe Mihalich when the University celebrates “Joe Mihalich Day” on Saturday, February 19. The day of celebration of Coach Mihalich’s career at Hofstra will occur in conjunction with the men’s basketball team’s game against Northeastern at 2 p.m. at the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex. 

The highlight of the celebration will be the official unveiling of the renamed men’s basketball locker room in honor of Coach Mihalich. 

On Friday evening, Hofstra Athletics will host a special “Cocktails and conversation with Joe Mihalich” at Vienna of Roslyn from 7-10 p.m. Visit GoHofstra.com/Mihalich for more information and how to register for the “Cocktails and conversation with Joe Mihalich“. 

Cocktails and conversation with Joe Mihalich
Dinner and drinks served from 7-10 p.m.
Dinner tickets are $100 each and sponsorship opportunities are available

“We are so thrilled to honor Joe for all he has done for Hofstra University and our men’s basketball program,” commented Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. “Coach Mihalich’s influence on our men’s basketball program is nothing short of remarkable and we are thankful for all the time and effort he put in to make Hofstra one of the elite programs in the area.”

“Words cannot express what Coach Mihalich means to me and our basketball program,” commented Hofstra Head Men’s Basketball Coach Speedy Claxton. “Coach Mihalich’s commitment to excellence is incredible and our program wouldn’t be where it is today without his hard work and dedication. For me personally, I am so thankful for all he has done to assist me in my coaching career and the guidance he has provided me as a mentor.”

Mihalich engineered a masterful resurgence of the Pride during his tenure, revitalizing a program that was coming off a seven-win campaign and, in three years, turned it into a team with back-to-back 20-win seasons and consecutive postseason appearances. He captured 141 wins while at Hofstra and averaged more than 22 victories per season over his last five campaigns on the sidelines. In his seven seasons coaching the Pride, Mihalich posted four 20-win seasons, led the Pride to three regular season Colonial Athletic Association titles, earned four postseason appearances, and captured the 2019-20 CAA title.

The 2019-20 season saw Hofstra have a magical year as the Pride won 26 games and captured its second straight outright CAA regular season title. The Pride became only the sixth team in conference history (since 1982-83) to win back-to-back outright conference regular season titles. For his strong work during the 2019-20 campaign, Mihalich was named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, presented annually to the top mid-major coach in Division I college basketball, and for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year award.

Hofstra set a school record with 27 victories during the 2018-19 season and earned its first outright regular season conference title since the 2000-01 season. The Pride advanced to the CAA Championship Game and the regular season title earned Hofstra an automatic berth in the National Invitation Tournament. 

During the incredible 2018-19 season, Hofstra had a spectacular 16-game win streak along the way. He was named the CAA Coach of the Year for his efforts, becoming the first Hofstra coach to earn that honor since the Pride joined the CAA in 2001-02.

He also earned many other coaching accolades that year as he was named the United States Basketball Writers Association District II Coach of the Year, the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 10 Coach of the Year, and a finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award and the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award. Prior to the year, he added to his awards as he was inducted into the Niagara Falls Sports Hall of Fame. 

Mihalich’s strong ability to recruit talented student-athletes saw Hofstra capture three CAA Player of the Year awards during his coaching tenure in Hempstead and multiple players have moved on to professional basketball careers after graduation. 

Mihalich, who guided Niagara University to five postseason appearances during his tenure as the Purple Eagles head coach, was named the 12th head coach in the history of the men’s basketball program on April 10, 2013. Mihalich came to Hofstra after leading the Purple Eagles since 1998. During that time he won 265 games, earned a pair of NCAA Tournament berths, made three National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances, and was named the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award winner in 2012-13. He was recently inducted into the Niagara Athletics Hall of Fame. 


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