New Era Begins After 27 Years Under Coach Tony Petosa
By: Eric Ransom
A familiar face, alumnus TJ Tibbs, will take the reins as new interim head basketball coach after longtime coach Tony Petosa stepped down after last season.
After recording a whopping 459 wins and 6 CUNYAC championships, Petosa leaves behind a massive legacy which spanned almost three decades.
Petosa hinted earlier in the year of his departure, and in July, left a vacancy at the head coaching position, which has not been seen since 1989.
Coach Petosa, an alumnus himself, played for CSI from 1982-1986 until becoming head coach of the team just a few years later.
In his place, steps in TJ Tibbs, a CSI alum from 2010-2012, someone who played under Tony Petosa during his tenure. Tibbs has come full circle from his days as a player for the Dolphins, becoming head coach at only the age of 29, and the seventh coach in CSI history.
Petosa has had a great impact on Tibbs, saying “[Petosa] is a tremendous mentor to myself and anyone who has played for him.”
Tibbs is certainly qualified for the job. His past experience includes time as an assistant coach for the Baruch basketball team from 2014 until February 2017, where he left to take on his first head coaching job with Mount Saint Vincent. Tibbs also played high school basketball for St. Peters.
His experience as a player will also influence his style of coaching, as Tibbs states, “I was fortunate to play with many talented players and a small role on some really good teams.”
When coaching his new team, Tibbs plans to encourage his players to “share the ball, play with a lot of confidence, and to be one of the best defensive teams in the country.”
Coach Tibbs described his reaction to being hired by his old college as being “extremely humbled by the opportunity to come back home and lead the men’s basketball program”, and “a tremendous honor.”
Although this will be an interim role, his second head coaching job is a special one, since it was only 5 years after being a player for the very same team, much like Petosa.
This will be the first full season that Tibbs will lead the charge for a men’s basketball team since becoming a coach.
Tibbs will inherit a team that finished with a 21-7 record last season, but left with an early exit in the playoffs after being defeated by Swarthmore College in the first round of the NCAA DIII Tournament, 86-61.
CSI is looking to build off of last year’s early exit in the tournament, despite the loss of star guard Frank Schettino, who signed with the Panteras De Aguascalientes, a Mexican league team.
Along with Tibbs, comes the hiring of assistant coach J.C Albano, another CSI alum, to join his side. Albano also played during the 2011-2012 season, and coached the JV team at Moore Catholic High School, and lead them to their first championship in 2014-2015.
CSI opens the season against Yeshiva University on November 15th.