Toole, RMU announce three year contract extension

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Toole, RMU announce three year contract extension

Nick Buzzelli, Sports Editor

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After eliminating the Kentucky Wildcats from the National Invitation Tournament on March 19, Robert Morris men’s basketball coach Andy Toole’s stock soared, and it seemed like only a matter of time until he moved on to bigger and better endeavors.

But the 32-year-old  skipper reassured the fact that he is committed to the Colonials on Friday afternoon during a press conference announcing the extension of his contract through May of 2018.

“It’s great to be able to have and to work with leadership that has a similar vision for what you are trying to accomplish,” said Toole. “Not only is this extension a vote of confidence in myself, but it’s also a vote of confidence in the way that they [the coaching staff] perform each and every day.”

Throughout his first three seasons as a head coach, Toole, who initially signed a five year deal in 2010, has compiled a 68-36 record, including three victories in post-season play.

Despite his attainments on the court, Robert Morris President Gregory Dell’Omo contributes Toole’s success to his ability to develop players into not only athletes, but scholars as well.

“Andy not only instills excellence on the court with his players, but he also instills excellence in the classroom with his players. He truly is a coach at the Division I level that understands the value of the student-athlete concept,” said Dell’Omo, who has led the university since 2005. “That carries forward in the way he deals with the young men he brings into this program, and we’re very pleased with that.”

Although the Red Bank, New Jersey native entertained thoughts of using his success at Robert Morris to catapult him to larger schools, specifically Sienna College, ultimately, he is pleased with his decision to remain at the helm of the Colonials.

“There’s a lot of programs throughout the country that have a great vision for their men’s basketball program and expect great things from it, but don’t support it properly,” said Toole, who has been with the team since 2007. “I think that our leadership does that extremely well, and I think that this contract extension is just another example of that, and hopefully where we continue to take this program.”

While listing RMU’s notable achievements of late, Athletic Director Craig Coleman, M.D., called Toole’s indenture “perhaps RMU’s biggest win to date.”

Toole, who has elevated Robert Morris basketball to new heights during his tenure, believes that the support the RMU community gives the program motivates the squad year in and year out.

“Expectations are high here, and I think that that’s a good thing. When I first got here six years ago, expectations were in the middle of the road, and it’s nice to get emails, receive text messages, hear comments from people about where they expect this program to be each and every year,” he added.” I think that drives us and that motivates us as coaches and players to continue the success that we’ve had previously.”

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