Hempstead, N.Y. - Hofstra Men's Basketball Coach Mo Cassara was signed to a new five-year contract through the 2015-16 season, it was announced today by President Stuart Rabinowitz and Director of Athletics Jack Hayes.
Cassara was hired as the 11th head coach in the history of the Hofstra Men's Basketball program in May of 2010, and led the Pride to its highest-ever finish in the Colonial Athletic Association this winter. Hofstra finished 21-12 overall and 14-4 in the CAA, which tied it for second place, passing the program's previous best finish of third place in 2005-06 and 2006-07. In addition, Hofstra's 14-4 CAA record put it two games ahead of VCU, which is currently participating in the NCAA Final Four in Houston.
Cassara finished second in the CAA Coach of the Year voting after leading his team to a 21-win season despite season-ending injuries to starters Nathaniel Lester (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Dwan McMillan (Brooklyn, N.Y.). It marked the 10th time in program history that the Pride has won 20 games at the NCAA Division I level (a span of 38 seasons). Hofstra also reached the semifinals of the CAA Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season.
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at Hofstra, Cassara was an assistant for four years at Boston College, where he coached current NBA player Jared Dudley. Cassara also coached current NBA players Craig Smith and Jarrett Jack while serving as the head coach at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts earlier in his career, and could add another NBA player to his resume as Hofstra senior guard Charles Jenkins (Queens, N.Y.) is a strong candidate to be chosen in June's NBA Draft. Jenkins averaged 22.6 points per game this year, sixth in the nation, and shot 51.7 percent in Cassara's offense, making him the only player in the top 15 in the country in scoring who shot over 50 percent from the floor.
"Mo did an outstanding job this season in leading us to a second place finish in arguably the greatest year in the Colonial Athletic Association's history," said Hayes. "He has proven his abilities as a coach and as a recruiter, and we're very excited about the program's future under his leadership."
Cassara also served as assistant coach at Dayton in 2003-04, when he helped the Flyers reach the NCAA Tournament, before serving as the head coach at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. from 2004-06. He has been a part of three NCAA Tournament teams overall, including two at Boston College (2006-07, 2008-09).
Cassara played on the men's basketball team at St. Lawrence University before graduating in 1997. He also earned a master's degree from Boston College and currently resides in Point Lookout, New York.
"Mo was a big part of the team's success on the court and worked well with our student-athletes. Off the court, he engaged the student body and our alumni and generated excitement for the program with all of our students and fans," said Rabinowitz. "He is a great ambassador for the Pride athletic program, and we're looking forward to many more years of success with Mo as our head coach."