Sports

Coaching Veteran Joe Mihalich Joins Men’s Basketball Staff as Special Assistant

Men’s Basketball | April 29, 2022

PHILADELPHIA – La Salle head men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy has officially added La Salle alum Joe Michael ’78 to his staff as Special Assistant to the Head Coach, it was announced on Friday.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Mihalich back to La Salle,” Dunphy said. “I have known Joe for a long time, worked with him for three years on the coaching staff at La Salle under Lefty Ervin and Speedy Morris, and know what a high-quality coach and man he is. His vast experience and knowledge will benefit myself, our student-athletes, and the rest of our coaching staff tremendously.”

With nearly 40 years of experience on the sidelines, Mihalich rejoins the Explorers with more than 400 career wins under his belt in his 22 years as a head coach. A former player and assistant in the Blue and Gold, Mihalich is set to make his third stint to the La Salle men’s basketball program.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be back at my alma mater,” Mihalich said. “The opportunity to work with one of my best friends in the college basketball world and another La Salle alum, Coach Dunphy, makes this all the more special. I look forward to developing relationships with our players, coaches, and staff members as we work together to create a championship culture at La Salle.”

Mihalich spent the last nine seasons at Hofstra, stepping down after seven seasons in charge of the men’s basketball program to become the special assistant to the athletic director. In his seven years at the helm of the Pride, Mihalich amassed a record of 141-92, including four postseason berths – two NIT bids and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth that never took place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his second season at Hofstra, Mihalich improved the squad to a 20-14 record and a CBI first round appearance. In 2015-16, the Pride became Colonial Athletic Association regular-season champions with a 14-4 conference record in just his third season in charge. Mihalich tallied five winning seasons in his seven years as head coach at Hofstra, combining for a 53-16 record in his final two years that saw the Pride record back-to-back regular season titles and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 -20 after sweeping both the regular season and CAA Tournament Championship.

Prior to his time in Hempstead, Mihalich developed one of the most consistent programs in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, leading Niagara to 265 wins, five postseason appearances and earning three MAAC Coach of the Year awards in his 15 seasons inside the Gallagher Center. Mihalich was responsible for 12 winning seasons while with the Purple Eagles, becoming three-time MAAC regular season champions and two-time tournament winners.

Mihalich spent 17 seasons on the sidelines at 20th & Olney before making his jump to head coach, assisting at his alma mater under head coaches Lefty Ervin and Speedy Morris. Mihalich was part of eight postseason appearances and five NCAA Tournament teams while at La Salle and helped develop numerous players who would play professionally in the NBA, including Lionel Simmons, Tim Legler, Doug Overton, and Randy Woods.

Joe Michael grew up right near the campus of La Salle, starting his collegiate career as a walk-on on the 1974-75 team, making the NCAA Tournament in his freshman year. He would spend four seasons as a player with the Explorers before entering the coaching field with his first assistant role at DeMatha High School in Washington, DC

The eldest Mihalich is joined in the coaching ranks by his son, Joe Jr., who is currently an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania.

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