Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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VETRONE WANTS TO NAME FDU COURT AFTER GREENNEPTUNE, N.J. — It isn’t often that a basketball coach wants to dedicate his school’s court to the guy he replaced.
But that’s exactly what’s going on at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.
Greg Vetrone, who replaced fired coach Tom Green (pictured), wants to name the court at the Rothman Center after his predecessor.
“My goal one day, my dream is to play on Tom Green Court one day,” Vetrone said last week at the Reebok Summer Classic. “I wish they would name the court after him. The guy’s the winningest coach in the history of the school and he’s the winningest coach in NEC history. They should name the court after him.”
Under Green, Fairleigh Dickinson failed to make the Northeast Conference tournament for the second consecutive season in 2008-09, finishing with a 7-23 record. Green’s career mark was 407-351.
He was fired in June after 26 seasons on the job — and he wasn’t happy about it.
“I’ve been a coaching ambassador for this university for 26 years. I don’t call this place work, I call it home,” Green told The Record of Hackensack (N.J.). “Firing me right now shows a total lack of respect for me as a person, as a coach and as a loyal employee over the last 26 years.”
Vetrone, who has known Green for 26 years but had been on his staff just one year as an assistant in his second go-round with the program, was hired on an interim basis.
Asked what Green was up to now, Vetrone said he didn’t know. Presumably he’s looking for work.
“This decision kills my career. To get fired in June of year 26 kills a career. I’d hoped to coach another five or six years before I even thought about retiring,” Green told The Record. “It not only affects me, but I’ve got three assistant coaches and two of them have families. There are no Division I college basketball head coaching jobs available in June.”
Vetrone said the transition to head coach hasn’t been easy because of his friendship with Green.
“It’s tough because coach Green and I are such great friends,” Vetrone said. “I worked for him 1988. I came back last year, so I love the University. It’s my second time there.
“I love Tom Green. It’s been difficult. Hopefully, in time he’ll get back with the administration.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.