Andy Toole, who turns 30 this month, is the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball. Yet when it comes to basketball, this guy's been around the block. Toole spent three seasons as Mike Rice’s top assistant, helping guide the Colonials to three straight postseason appearances before taking the top job in May when Rice left for Rutgers. The Red Bank, N.J., native was a four-year starter in Division I, first for Elon University and then the University of Pennsylvania. The Quakers made the NCAA tournament both years he played. Toole was a three-point specialist, sinking 212 in his career, and he was picked for the All-Ivy League and All-Big Five teams while at Penn.
01) HOW IS YOUR COACHING STYLE DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF MIKE RICE?
I am not sure I'll be able to yell as much as Coach Rice; he was gifted in that regard. But I think we share a lot of commonalities in the way we believe the game should be played.
02) HOW BIG DO YOU THINK THE MEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM CAN GET?
If the past three years are any indication, there are few limits to how high this program can reach. I think the next step is having a few sellouts at the Sewall Center this season. Our players work extremely hard and play an exciting style that deserves to be recognized with fan support.
03) YOU WERE AN ACCOMPLISHED BASKETBALL PLAYER. WHAT OTHER SPORTS DO YOU ENJOY PLAYING?
I have the golfing bug. I really enjoy the challenge of getting better at the game. I also like to play tennis, even though I am not good at it.
04) WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN TRANSITIONING FROM ASSISTANT TO HEAD COACH?
The biggest transition is getting used to telling people “no” more often. Although, I think our players will tell you I did a pretty good job of doing that as an assistant.
05) WHAT DID YOUR FAMILY SAY WHEN THEY FIRST HEARD THE BIG NEWS?
They were all very excited for me, and they all attended the press conference. My father, who is a huge supporter, has called me maybe 400 times a day since I have been hired. My family is pretty good at keeping me humble and grounded, so when I go home I am sure my mom will still tell me to take out the garbage.
06) WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
What free time? When I do find a moment or two, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend, as well as my friends and family. And I'm a huge fan of reality television.
07) IF YOU COULD PICK FIVE ALL-TIME PLAYERS FOR YOUR OWN DREAM TEAM, WHO WOULD THEY BE?
Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, and Bill Russell. I would be a player/coach and would accept the sixth man role.
08) WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW?
Growing up my favorite show was "Saved By the Bell." Today I think my favorite show is "The Biggest Loser," again with that reality television.
09) WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP IN RED BANK, N.J.?
Growing up in Red Bank was really no different than growing up anywhere else. I could ride my bike to the beach in the summer, which was great. But I spent most of the time playing basketball or any other sport I could.
10) BEING A FORMER POLITICAL SCIENCE MAJOR, DO YOU HAVE ANY POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE?
I do not. There is enough politicking in being a basketball coach that I can get my fill right where I am. I majored in political science because I found it interesting, but I knew coaching would be my career.
RMU's Newest Coach - Andy Toole becomes Robert Morris University's new head basketball coach, succeeding Mike Rice. At 29, Toole is the youngest person in his position in NCAA Div. I hoops.