St. Joe's parts ways with Phil Martelli, who vows to coach again | Zagsblog
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Friday / November 15.
  • St. Joe’s parts ways with Phil Martelli, who vows to coach again

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Saint Joseph’s announced Tuesday it has parted ways with longtime head coach Phil Martelli.

    Martelli, 64, has been at the Philadelphia school since 1995, compiling a record of 444-328 (.575). His team went 14-19 this season, 6-12 in the A-10.

    He took St. Joe’s to the NCAA Tournament seven times, most recently in 2016. He guided the program to an Elite Eight in 2004 and a Sweet 16 in 1997. St. Joe’s was also the NIT runner-up in 2005.

    “For 34 years, I, with my family, was honored to play a significant role at St. Joseph’s University,” Martelli said in a statement released Wednesday. “Every day, in every way, I strove to be a partner and representative for all that St. Joseph’s stood for. It was my good fortune to have wonderful partners as we aspired to chase greatness on and off the court – the players and their families who gave me their trust; the assistant coaches who exhausted themselves daily; the support staff who pounded away behind the scenes; and the fans and followers who cheered, debated, and loved the Hawks. I saw all as valuable partners. My hope is that I was viewed the same. For the student athletes – the players – I created an atmosphere and environment in which success could be pursued – academically, socially, and obviously athletically.

    “‘Act Like a Champion’ was the mantra.

    “I understand that college basketball is about winning and losing. All good things come to an end and SJU has the right to select who coaches their team.”

    Martelli later met with the media, and said, “I will coach again…The Martelli family is not done.”

    The school said Tuesday in a statement: “Coach Phil Martelli stands among out among his peers in college basketball not only for his long tenure and the many accolades that he and his teams have achieved, but also for his engagement with the community and his service as an ambassador for SJU. The University recognizes and celebrates the history and heart that Coach Martelli brought to the program and thanks him for his long service, dedication and stewardship.

    “As basketball is an important strategic asset for Saint Joseph’s, the University will move forward with the intent to build upon its storied history, develop a sustained culture of excellence, and consistently compete for NCAA Tournament appearances and conference championships.”

    Photo: NBC Philadelphia

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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.