Fordham Fires Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Pecora

Bronx, NY—On Wednesday, seven days before the fifth anniversary of his hiring as the head coach of the Fordham University men’s basketball team, Tom Pecora was relieved of his duties at Fordham. The announcement was made after a meeting between Pecora and David Roach, Fordham’s director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation. The reasons given for Pecora’s separation from the university were the team’s poor won/lost record of 44-106 (.293) during his five seasons as coach and an a retention rate of only 50% of those recruited during the first four years under Pecora. Obviously, those figures were a disappointment to the university’s administration.

In 2012, Pecora’s contract with Fordham was extended through the 2016-17 season. Thus he has been dismissed two years prior to the end of his contract.

To put the last five years in a larger perspective, it should be noted that Fordham’s men’s basketball team has only finished two of the past 23 seasons with a record of .500 or better.

After beginning the 2014-15 basketball season with only five wins in their first 20 games, The Rams closed the year with five wins in 11 contests. The improvement caused Pecora to speak very positively of the future of the Fordham Rams and his place in that future in his final press conference as Fordham coach on March 12 after Fordham’s loss to VCU in the second round of the Atlantic-10 Championship in Brooklyn, “I think that if you looked at this team, and you didn’t think there was a bright future, you’d be crazy because of the youth and the enthusiasm and the veterans that are coming back.”

His closing words about his happiness and future at Fordham show no thought of what would happen on the following Wednesday, “I feel lucky to work at Fordham, to work in the university that’s got an academic reputation. That’s what brought me there. I thought the combination of athletics in the A-10 and the academics could make it a special place if they were patient and they have been patient. I think they know they are going to turn the corner here and it’s going to be exciting when it happens. I’m a New York guy, man, I’m not going anywhere. I’m thrilled to still be here.”

Pecora’ residence, education and work experience were intricately connected to the New York metropolitan area. He was born in queens Village, graduated from Martin Van Buren High School and Adelphi University. His lengthy coaching experience began shortly after his graduation from college.

He was an assistant coach to Bob McKillop, the current veteran coach at Davidson, also in the A-10, (1984-87).  He moved to the college ranks in 1987 as an assistant at Nassau Community College, (1987-89). Pecora then served three years as head coach at the State University at Farmingdale, (1989-92).

The next two years, were the only ones in which Pecora worked outside the New York area. He was an assistant at UNLV in 1992-93 and at Loyola Marymount in 1993-94.

Pecora spent the following 16 years at Hofstra University, 1999-2001 as assistant coach and 2001-10 as head coach.

Fordham’s press release announcing Pecora’s dismissal closed with these words, “Fordham will launch a national search for a new head men’s basketball coach immediately, and will use the services of a search firm in the process.”

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