Pittsburgh - Director of Athletics Craig Coleman announced today the hiring of Andrew Toole as the new head men’s basketball coach at Robert Morris University. Toole, who has helped guide the Colonials to three straight postseason appearances as an assistant coach, including trips to the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Tournament, is the eighth head coach in the 34-year history of the RMU program.
“Andy is the perfect candidate to provide leadership to our program,” Coleman said. “He has been instrumental in helping to get the program to the heights that it’s already achieved, and for that reason we believe the continuity that he provides for our program is important. I’m extremely pleased to welcome him as our newest head coach.”
At 29 years and eight months of age, Toole becomes the youngest active head coach at the NCAA Division I level. A native of Red Bank, N.J., he has spent the past two seasons as associate head coach at RMU after spending the 2007-08 campaign as an assistant coach with the Colonials. Over the last three seasons with Toole as the program’s top assistant, Robert Morris has posted an overall record of 73-31 (.702), including a mark of 46-8 (.852) in the Northeast Conference.
“Andrew Toole is an extremely talented, bright and hard-working young man who will guide our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom as well as on the basketball court,” said Gregory G. Dell’Omo, president of Robert Morris University. “I am confident he will take the basketball program at RMU to new heights.”
Robert Morris has claimed the NEC regular-season championship in each of the last three seasons, including outright titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the Colonials shared the league regular-season championship with Quinnipiac.
In 2008, the Colonials made their first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT), dropping an 87-81 decision to No. 1 overall seed Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. In both 2009 and 2010, RMU earned automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament thanks to winning their sixth and seventh NEC Tournament championships, respectively.
In the 2009 NCAA Tournament as a No. 15 seed, the Colonials fell to eventual national runner-up Michigan State, 77-62, in the first round at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. In the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Robert Morris nearly upset No. 2 seed Villanova in the first round at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., before falling, 73-70, in overtime.
“I’m unbelievably excited to be the head coach at Robert Morris University,” Toole said. “It’s an incredible opportunity that I’ve been given by the University, the search committee, Dr. Dell’Omo and Dr. Coleman. I’m honored they felt I was the right individual to continue the success of this program. I take that honor very seriously, and I’m going to work incredibly hard and tirelessly to prove those people right while continuing to build on the success that we’ve had over the last three years.”
Toole takes the reign of an RMU program that has experienced unprecedented success over the last five years. The Colonials own NEC records for victories over a two (50 from 2007 to 2009), three (73 from 2007 to 2010), four (90 from 2006-10) and five (105 from 2005 to 2010) year spans in league history.
In addition, Robert Morris finished the decade of the 2000s tops in the Northeast Conference for overall victories with 162. RMU’s record of 94-42 (.691) at the Charles L. Sewall Center the last 10 years is the best mark in the NEC in terms of both wins and winning percentage, and over that same time span the Colonials are tops in the conference against league foes at home with an overall record of 65-27 (.707).
Prior to coming to Robert Morris in 2007, Toole spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. While an assistant with the Leopards, Toole assisted in all facets of the program, from recruiting to player development. He was responsible for helping recruit student-athletes that helped lead Lafayette to the 2010 Patriot League Tournament championship game against Lehigh.
Between 2004 and 2006, Toole spent two years with The Hoop Group in Neptune, N.J. He served as the director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Clinic, where he handled logistical management for the nation’s largest high school exposure camp. As director, Toole maintained relationships with elite high school and AAU coaches. Also in 2004, Toole served as the director of Rebounds, a 28,000-square foot facility where high school players focus on development.
Toole is the fifth coach with ties to The Hoop Group to be named a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. He joins former RMU head coach Mike Rice (Rutgers), Greg Vetrone (Fairleigh Dickinson), Chucky Martin (Marist) and Jesse Agel (Brown).
Toole was a four-year starter at the Division I level, playing for Elon University (1998-2000) before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania (2000-03). In two seasons with the Quakers, Toole helped guide Penn to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. A co-captain of the 2002-03 Penn team that finished with an overall record of 22-6, in two years as a starter Toole helped lead the Quakers to an overall record of 47-13 (.783).
During his two seasons at Penn, the Quakers posted a record of 7-1 in the Philadelphia Big 5, an informal association of college athletic programs in Philadelphia, Pa., that includes La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova. Penn finished 4-0 in 2001-02, and it’s only loss in 2002-03 came against Saint Joseph’s.
Over his four-year career at Elon and Penn, Toole averaged 12.3 points per contest, finishing with 1,341 points in 109 games. He also posted averages of 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. In two seasons at Penn, Toole hit 104 three-pointers and on his career finished with 212. He was an All-Ivy League First Team selection in 2001-02, an All-Ivy League Second Team honoree in 2002-03 and was named to the All-Big 5 Team in both 2002 and 2003.
A member of the Friars Senior Society at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002-03, Toole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Penn in 2003. He resides in the Pittsburgh suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., and replaces former head coach Mike Rice, who resigned to accept a similar position at Rutgers.
THE ANDREW TOOLE FILE
Birthdate: Sept. 11, 1980
Hometown: Red Bank, N.J.
Alma Mater / Year: University of Pennsylvania / 2003
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Political Science)
High School: Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, N.J.)
COLLEGIATE COACHING EXPERIENCE:
Robert Morris University; Moon Township, Pa.
- Head Coach (2010- )
Robert Morris University; Moon Township, Pa.
- Associate Head Coach (2008-10)
Robert Morris University; Moon Township, Pa.
- Assistant Coach (2007-08)
Lafayette College; Easton, Pa.
- Assistant Coach (2006-07)
The Hoop Group; Neptune, N.J.
- Director, Eastern Invitational Basketball Clinic (2004-06)
Elon University; Elon, N.C.
- Guard (1998-2000)
University of Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pa.
- Guard (2000-03)
Christian Brothers Academy; Lincroft, N.J.
- Guard (1994-98)
NCAA Division I Youngest Men’s Basketball Head Coaches
Andrew Toole - Robert Morris (29 years, eight months)
Jason Capel - Appalachian State (30 years, three months, 26 days)
Brian Wardle - Wisconsin-Green Bay (30 years, seven months, two days)
Dane Fife - IPFW (30 years, nine months, 15 days)
Josh Pastner - Memphis (32 years, eight months, 15 days)
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT ANDREW TOOLE:
Mike Rice, Head Coach, Rutgers University
“Coach Toole has had as much to do with the success of the Robert Morris program the last three years as anyone. His tireless commitment to improve the program, whether it was recruiting, player development or game day preparation, was unmatched by any other assistant. Robert Morris basketball is in great hands.”
Fran O’Hanlon, Head Coach, Lafayette College
“Andrew is a smart, dedicated and excellent leader who possesses a tremendous amount of passion for the game. Above all, he is a man of strong character. He possesses all the necessary qualities to be a successful college head coach, and I am very happy for the Robert Morris community to have a person of Andrew’s caliber lead its men’s basketball program.”
Fran Dunphy, Head Coach, Temple University
“I certainly want to congratulate Robert Morris University and Andrew Toole as they embark on a new era of Colonial basketball. I’ve known Andy as a player and now a coach and his leadership skills are unquestioned. He has great knowledge of the game and has shown great skill in imparting that knowledge to his players. I couldn’t be more excited for Andy as he takes on the role as head coach. He’ll do a great job and I wish him and Robert Morris all the best.”
Rob Kennedy, President, The Hoop Group
“Andrew is absolutely ready and prepared for this next step. From the first time I saw Andy on the court and teaching, I knew he was going to be special. Everything he has done since then has just reaffirmed that belief. Andy is mature well beyond his years, and he has a presence that commands attention and respect from the moment he walks into a room. In addition to his tireless work ethic, Andy has a great ability to connect with people, whether it is players, parents, coaches or fans. Robert Morris is very lucky to have him continue what he and Mike Rice have been able to build over the past three years.”