Fordham Basketball Headed in New Direction as Program Is on the Rise

Sam BlumCorrespondent IMay 14, 2010

NEW YORK - JANUARY 13: Chris Gaston #33 of the Fordham Rams looks to pass against Chris Wright #33 of 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 hasn't been a long time since Fordham 2-26 (0-16 in A-10) closed out one of the worst seasons in program history. However, if you were to ask anyone in the Fordham Basketball Program right now, they might have no recollection of it.

Two things became apparent to the Rose Hill faithful this January. One, this team wasn't going to be an A-10 Championship team. Two, that next season was going to be much better. This was because around that time Fordham had announced a major budget rise for its Men's Basketball program.

This was meant specifically for the coach, who in the college game acts as a general manager to some extent because he is the one recruiting players and hiring assistant coaches. 

So soon after the basketball season ended, Fordham was very much interested in finding a basketball coach for a team dying to return to its winning ways. Names like Mike Rice (Robert Morris)*** and Steve Donahue (Cornell)*** fell through, however, one name, Tom Pecora, the head coach at Hofstra, seemed to be a perfect fit.

Pecora was known for his ability to recruit and ability to coach, leading the Pride to postseason tournaments numerous times.

Pecora left behind a job with a team on its way up, and with a player who will most likely be in the NBA by the 2012 season by the name of Charles Jenkins.

In the time since Pecora has gotten to the East Bronx, he has gotten four verbal commitments to Fordham. He has also recently brought over the entire basketball staff from Hofstra that worked with him while he was with the Pride.

The Hofstra program is now in shambles as it had already found a new coach, Tim Welsh, but after being arrested for DWI he was forced to resign.

Fordham will enter the new year with many young faces and players who have improved from the year before. With last year's team, 11 of the 16 players were underclassmen. But now, as those players have progressed and reigning A-10 rookie of the year Chris Gaston has decided to stay with the Rams, they will have a team with some decent experience.

Let's face it, it might take at least a year before Fordham is going to be competing for an A-10 championship. But they are on the right track, and Fordham fans couldn't be happier.