Assistant coach and former star player Craig “Speedy” Claxton has been named the next head coach at Hofstra, the school announced Wednesday. Claxton was a two-time America East POY for Jay Wright and had been an assistant under Joe Mihalich since 2013.
“What an exciting day for Hofstra University and our men’s basketball program,” AD Rick Cole Jr. said in a release. “There is no better person than Speedy Claxton to lead our team and build upon the outstanding successes this program has experienced during its rich history. Speedy’s relationship with Hofstra goes back many years, and he is ready to take the next step and become our head coach. It has been an amazing career and life for Speedy and the entire Hofstra community looks forward to following this next step in his journey.”
Claxton should maintain continuity within the program while also bringing a new spark to the fanbase. There seems to be a trend in college basketball of schools hiring well-known alumni as head coaches and Claxton certainly fits the profile for a successful hire.
“Today is a dream come true for me,” Claxton said. “With that dream comes responsibility, I know the incredible history of the Hofstra men’s basketball program. I have lived it. I have experienced it. I have coached it. And today I am ready to lead it. Everything about Hofstra and our men’s basketball program is special to me and I look forward to continuing the success this program experiences year in and year out. Thank you to all my mentors who have made today possible and a special thank you to Coach Mihalich for his guidance over the last eight years and for leading this program to incredible heights.”
Claxton played with then-Flying Dutchmen in the NCAA Tournament as a senior in 2000 and the program hasn’t been back to the Big Dance since a year after that, appearing in five NITs and three CITs during that drought.
Mihalich stepped down from coaching last month after missing the 2020-21 season for medical reasons. He remains connected to the program as special advisor to Director of Athletics, Rick Cole Jr.
credit to Hofstra Athletics for the photo