Major changes are underway in Fordham’s athletic department, as Rams athletic director David Roach announced his retirement on Friday afternoon and Rams head basketball coach Jeff Neubauer is expected to move on from his position as well, according to Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog. Zagoria also reported that Pitt associate head coach Tim O’Toole is one of several potential candidates who could be targeted to replace Neubauer in the Bronx.
The anticipated change at Fordham follows a 9-22 season, which was part of a 60-94 showing by Neubauer over the last five years. The Rams’ last winning season, a 17-14 campaign, came four years ago. At the time, it was the first winning record Fordham had posted in nine years. The program has posted just five winning records in the past 30 years.
O’Toole has eight years of head coaching experience, as he previously served as the head coach at Fairfield in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference from 1998 to 2006. At the Connecticut school, he accrued a 112-120 record, including two 19-win seasons. However, the Stags posted losing records in five of O’Toole’s eight seasons at the helm, and he was eventually replaced by current Providence head coach Ed Cooley.
The position could appeal to O’Toole in part because of its location in the Bronx, which is 20 miles from his hometown of White Plains, New York, and because of his history with the school, which dates back more than 30 years. O’Toole began his career at Fordham as a graduate assistant in 1987, and he became an assistant coach there in the 1988. He held that position for one season before moving on to Army. In addition to previously serving on the Rams coaching staff, O’Toole earned his MBA at Fordham and later became a professor at its Graduate School of Business.
With that said, O’Toole is not the only coach under consideration, as former St. John’s coach Steve Lavin is also said to be in the mix for the job, along with Bryant coach Jared Grasso, Colgate coach Matt Langel, Villanova assistant Kyle Neptune, and Fordham alum Mark Taylor, who currently coaches at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey.
News of the shake-up at Fordham broke around noon on Friday, and as of 3:30 p.m. the same day, Neubauer had yet to step down or be publicly relieved of his duties.