The daunting job that is Fordham men’s basketball has spit out yet another previously successful coach. Jeff Neubauer joined the club on Monday that includes Tom Pecora, Dereck Whittenburg, Bob Hill and Nick Macarchuk as members, leaving the position on Tuesday two months before his contract expired, the school announced.
The 49-year-old Neubauer, who went 61-104 in six seasons, was thought to be a goner after last season’s 9-22 campaign, but the COVID-19 pandemic led to a stay of execution. With Fordham 1-7 and Neubauer’s dismissal obviously near, The Bronx school felt it was best for all parties to get a jump-start on its coaching search, sources said.
Fordham is desperate to turn around its immense struggles over the past 28 years — it has just two winning seasons since last reaching the NCAA Tournament in 1992 — and is looking to put resources into the program that were previously lacking. Neubauer, sources said, made in the ballpark of $650,000 to $700,000 per season. The average Atlantic 10 coach makes roughly $1 million per year. Depending on the candidate, Fordham is planning to increase its budget for its next head coach.
Sources said the top skill Fordham is looking for is an elite recruiter, someone with gravitas that is not only able to land quality prospects, but keep them, a major problem under Neubauer.
The early list of prospective candidates, according to sources, is long, with young up-and-coming head coaches such as Shaheen Holloway of Saint Peter’s and Jared Grasso of Bryant on it, former head coaches with past success in the area in Steve Lavin and Fran Fraschilla, veterans types like Pittsburgh assistant Tim O’Toole, Washington assistant Jerry Hobbie, a Fordham alum, and former Georgia Tech and George Mason head coach Paul Hewitt, in addition to Villanova assistant coach Kyle Neptune.
Fordham is planning to create an internal search committee and use the next month to gauge interest and refine a list of potential coaches. In the meantime, associate head coach Mike DePaoli is taking over on an interim basis.
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