Rutgers hires Stony Brook’s Steve Pikiell as new head coach

Rutgers has hired Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell to serve in the same position, according to a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

Rutgers has hired Stony Brook coach Steve Pikiell, sources told ESPN.

— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 19, 2016

If this report is indeed accurate, Pikiell will succeed Eddie Jordan, who went 29-67 in three years with the Scarlet Knights.

Pikiell, on the other hand, is a solid hire on Rutgers’ end. He just led the America East’s Stony Brook Seawolves to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, where they earned a No. 13 seed and lost to No. 4 Kentucky in the first round. In 11 seasons with Stony Brook, the 48-year-old Pikiell was 190-155 (109-71 AEC) and won four regular season titles to go with his one AEC tourney championship. Pikiell also coached for one season at Division III Wesleyan, going 5-18 in the 1995-96 season.

But Pikiell’s basketball pedigree is so much more than someone who succeeded at a small midmajor school. Prior to getting into coaching, he played point guard at UConn under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun and helped the Huskies to an NIT title in 1988 and an Elite Eight in 1990.

In terms of how Pikiell will do at Rutgers is anyone’s guess but given how the Scarlet Knights haven’t played in an NCAA Tournament since 1991, any hire at this point is a roll of the dice.

Despite that, here’s hoping that Pikiell can rally Rutgers and recruit New Jersey well enough that the program is finally able to keep up in the Big Ten.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports