Hempstead, NY - Mo Cassara was named the new Hofstra University head men's basketball coach, it was announced today by Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. He has agreed to a multi-year deal with the University.
"We have had the opportunity to see Mo's dynamic leadership, energy and enthusiasm in action," said President Rabinowitz. "His experience with college basketball, his passion for the game, and his desire to work with student-athletes in all facets of their development, will serve our basketball team well and help take our program to the next level of excellence."
"I am excited for the future of Hofstra Basketball with Mo Cassara at the helm," commented Hayes. "Mo's experience in the Atlantic Coast Conference and his basketball pedigree will be great additions to the Hofstra University community and we look forward to an exciting era of Pride Basketball. Mo has quickly gained the trust of our student-athletes and athletic department staff and we are delighted that he will lead our program in 2010-11 and beyond."
Cassara comes to Hofstra after serving for the last four years as an assistant coach at Boston College from 2006-10. While with the Eagles, he was responsible for recruiting, scouting, on-floor coaching, off-season workouts and scheduling. He has coached in three NCAA Tournaments as a Division I assistant, including two at Boston College (2007, 2009) and one at Dayton (2004).
During Cassara's four years with Boston College, the Eagles compiled a combined 72-57 record and made two NCAA Tournament appearances. In his first season in 2006-07, he helped the Eagles finish with a 21-12 record, including 10-6 in the ACC (good for fourth place), and reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. That Boston College team featured ACC Player of the Year and second-team All-American Jared Dudley, who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns of the NBA. The Eagles once again qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2008-09, when they finished 22-12. Boston College also earned a signature win that year when it upset No. 1 North Carolina on the road to hand the eventual national champion Tar Heels their first loss of the season.
Prior to joining the Boston College staff, Cassara served as the head coach at Division III Clark University in Massachusetts for two years from 2004-06. He also spent one year as an assistant coach at Dayton University in 2003-04, when he helped the Flyers to a 24-9 record. Dayton also earned a Maui Invitational championship, a regular season Atlantic 10 conference title, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, when it fell in a double-overtime thriller to DePaul in the opening round.
Cassara also had success as a prep school coach at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts from 1999-2003, leading the Hilltoppers to a 90-21 record. In 2002-03, he led his Worcester team to the school's first conference title in 16 years. While at Worcester, he also coached Craig Smith, who went on to star at Boston College and currently plays in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Cassara's other collegiate coaching experience includes one year as an assistant coach at The Citadel (1998-99) and one year as an assistant coach at Washington & Lee (1997-98). He played basketball for three seasons at St. Lawrence, while serving as a team captain as a senior.
A 1997 graduate of St. Lawrence with a degree in physical education, Cassara also earned his master's degree in higher education and administration from Boston College in 2002.
What they are saying:
"Mo has proven to be one of the rising young coaches in the country. He's found success at every level of basketball, and he is well-respected in the business. As the son of a coach, he's literally prepared for this opportunity at Hofstra almost his whole life."
- Brian Gregory, Head Coach, University of Dayton
"Mo was the type of coach who was always very detailed in his scouting reports. He always had us very well prepared for every game, and he would always let us know what adjustments we needed to make. He is a student of the game, he works extremely hard, and I know that he will be a very successful head coach."
- Jared Dudley, Phoenix Suns (Boston College '07)
"Mo Cassara is one of the brightest young head coaching prospects in Division I. He is a relentless worker who has brought great knowledge and positive energy to any situation he has been involved with. As head coach at Worcester Academy, he won the New England Prep championship and coached Jarrett Jack and Craig Smith, who have gone on to successful NBA careers. I have no doubt that Mo will rebuild Hofstra Basketball back to the top of the Colonial."
- Rick Carlisle, Head Coach, Dallas Mavericks
"Hofstra went with a rising star in Mo Cassara as its new head coach. I think Cassara is one the best young coaches around."
- Jeff Goodman, FoxSports.com
"I had the privilege of coaching Mo for three years, and even at a young age it was obvious that he had the basketball knowledge and the passion for the game that would one day lead to him becoming a great head coach. As a player he demonstrated unbelievable leadership and had all the qualities that translate into coaching. He has tremendous energy and enthusiasm, and that should serve him well at Hofstra."
- Dave Paulsen, Head Coach, Bucknell University (St. Lawrence Head Coach, 1994-97)