Tobin Anderson and the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights are coming off potentially one of the biggest cinderella stories of all time. The very small D1 school, that almost no one had heard of before the 2023 March Madness tournament shocked the world when they beat Purdue, 63-58 in the opening round of this year’s tournament. FDU had become just the second No. 16 seed to upset a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history.
Unfortunately, that cinderella story didn’t last long as FDU came up eight points short against Florida Atlantic, falling 78-70. Had they won that matchup, the Knights would have become the first-ever No.16 seed to reach the Sweet 16. Of course, this all came after the Knights blew out Texas Southern in the First Four in order to play against Purdue. Anderson was hired in May from Division 2 St. Thomas Aquinas to take over a four-win program in a one-bid league. It now appears that Tobin Anderson is on the move once again. As he has agreed to a five-year deal to become the next head coach of the Iona Gaels. Anderson informed his team early Tuesday morning.
With Anderson leading the way Fairleigh Dickinson University, had forever etched its name into the history books with one of the most memorable underdog stories of all time.
“We went toe-to-toe with two great teams, and didn’t back down, didn’t go away,” said Anderson on Sunday after the team’s season-ending loss. “Every part of this I’ll remember forever.”
A year ago, Fairleigh Dickinson University went 4-22 under Greg Herenda. The school hired Anderson in the offseason. In one season he helped the team earn its first winning season since 2018-19 and third above .500 season since 2006-2007.
“[FDU] won four games last year. We were a 6-0 run away from the Sweet 16,” Anderson said Sunday. “I don’t know about sports stories, but that’s got to be the most amazing. To go from 4-22 to being right there to almost make the Sweet 16, if that’s not one of the most amazing things in my life, that’s crazy.”
Headed to Iona
Anderson has 22 years of coaching experience and served as an assistant coach at a Division III school before being named the head coach and working his way up through the ranks. Now, after one season with FDU, as mentioned above Anderson will head to Iona where he will replace Rick Pitino, who he actually competed with for the Iona position in 2020.
Iona has reached 16 NCAA tournaments, with the only postseason win coming under the watch of Jim Valvano in 1980. The school has also won 13 regular-season league titles and 14 conference titles in its existence. Now, with Tobin Anderson at the helm for the next five years, they may have a good shot at getting back to the tournament.
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