Stony Brook hires Ohio State's Boals as basketball coach
STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) Stony Brook, coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance, hired Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals as its basketball coach Saturday.
Boals succeeds Steve Pikiell, who left for Rutgers after leading the Seawolves to the NCAAs. Stony Brook lost to Kentucky in the first round.
Boals will be introduced Monday, the 11th basketball coach in the school's history.
''I look forward to working with the team, building upon the success of last season and continuing it into the future,'' he said. ''I can't wait to get started.''
A member of coach Thad Matta's staff since 2009-10, Boals helped guide Ohio State to seven postseason appearances, including six NCAAs and the 2012 Final Four. The Buckeyes won or claimed a share of three Big Ten titles while Boals was in Columbus.
Boals was instrumental in bringing top recruits to Ohio State, including current NBA players Jared Sullinger and D'Angelo Russell along with Aaron Craft, the school's career assists leader. He also coached 2010 Player of the Year Evan Turner.
Athletic director Shawn Heilbron said he sought a coach who could lead Stony Brook to ''new heights.''
''Jeff Boals is the right guy at the right time,'' he said. ''He is prepared for this opportunity, which comes at a critical time in our history following our first America East title and NCAA Tournament appearance.
''Jeff has coached at the highest level as a member of Thad Matta's staff at Ohio State and he understands what it takes to win,'' Heilbron added. ''I am excited for our players to learn from him on the floor and, more importantly, he will serve as a strong mentor.''
Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley Jr. pointed to Boals' national experience.
''Our athletic programs continue to increase the profile of our university, engage the community in an important way, and contribute tremendously to student life,'' he said.
Before Ohio State, Boals spent three seasons at Akron as the team's recruiting coordinator. He also worked at Robert Morris and Marshall. He played at Ohio University and was its captain, graduating in 1995.