Saturday, March 31, 2012

SBU's Steve Pikiell: 'I'm not going anywhere'

NEW ORLEANS -- Stony Brook basketball coach Steve Pikiell, who has become a hot commodity for mid-major schools with coaching vacancies, isn't going anywhere. In fact, Pikiell is in the process of negotiating a new contract with the Seawolves. Pikiell's name has been associated with job openings at Miami of Ohio in the Mid-American Conference and Duquesne of the Atlantic-10 in rumors circulated via Twitter. Schools commonly hire outside consultants to reach out to potential candidates before making formal contact, but Pikiell said he hasn't interviewed with anyone.
"I'm not going anywhere," said Pikiell, who was in New Orleans Saturday to give a clinic for challenged kids before attending the Final Four games. "I love my job, and we've got a great recruiting class coming in. My name's getting mentioned for jobs because a lot of outside people are involved with schools."
Pikiell's recruiting class is headed by big man Jameel Warney and point guard Carson Puriefoy III and includes wing man Ryan Burnett and shooting guard Ahmad Reid, who has a verbal commitment. They join a program that just won its second America East regular-season title in three seasons.
"Steve and I have talked, and we're re-doing his contract," said Stony Brook athletic director Jim Fiore, who also is attending the Final Four. "I firmly expect him to be here in the future. We're making this a great job for him. The recruiting class is committed to him, and Steve's really excited."
Stony Brook's decision to upgrade Pikiell's contract is a sign it can compete with any school from a one-bid league, but continued success could one day position Pikiell to make the jump to a major conference. "If a huge job opened up, I'd have to listen," Pikiell said. "But I like where I am."