Fordham Basketball Hires Former Hofstra Coach Tom Pecora

Sam BlumCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 13: Chris Gaston #33 of the Fordham Rams lines up a free throw against the Dayton Flyers at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2010 in New York, New York.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

It has been a tough two years for the Rose Hill faithful.

Fordham has been able to boast just five wins over the past two years, and have been unable to find that winning factor. 

Well, today marks a new beginning in the East Bronx. The Fordham athletics Web site announced earlier that the school has hired Tom Pecora, the now-former coach at Hofstra to be the new leader of this once elite program. 

Tom Pecora has led his Pride to winning seasons the last two years.

Fordham announced last month that they would be giving a larger budget to the basketball program. This was all aimed at bringing in a big-time coach to a team that not only lost 26 games but also its head coach and best player this season.

After a 1-4 start this year, head coach Dereck Whittenburg was fired. Interim coach Jared Grasso took the reigns, but got just one win. He didn't lead his team to a single win the entire conference portion of the 2010 schedule.

They also lost last year's A-10 Rookie of the Year, Jio Fontan, who left immediately after Whittenburg was dismissed. He transferred to the University of Southern California (USC), and will begin playing early next year. 

Grasso will now be replaced by Tom Pecora, who is well known for being able to recruit good New York City ballers. He coached at Hofstra, which is located in Hempstead, Long Island, less than an hour from the Big Apple. 

Fordham should have a bright future; 11 of their 16 players last year were underclassmen. One of the 11, Chris Gaston (above) was named the A-10 Rookie of the Year. This is impressive, as this was arguably the best the A-10 conference has ever been.

Cornell coach Steve Donahue was also up for the job, but since Fordham wanted to get things done quickly with Seton Hall looking at the same coaches as Fordham, they wanted to pull the trigger on Pecora. They would have to wait until next week at the very least to talk to Donahue, who is now coaching in the Sweet 16.

So, will this be the turnaround that this dying program needed? Will the Rams come back into the national scene? Will they become New York's team? A slot that was once held by St. John's in its glory days, by Manhattan in the early 2000s, and by LIU way back when.

Well, only time will tell.