Speedy Claxton returned to Hofstra as an assistant coach eight years ago, and now he’s getting a shot to run the show himself.
Hofstra officially announced the legendary player as the university’s next men’s basketball team’s head coach on Thursday. Claxton replaces former head man Joe Mihalich, who missed all of last season due to unspecified health reasons and is transitioning into a new role as a special adviser to Hofstra athletic director Rick Cole Jr.
“Today is a dream come true for me,” Claxton said in a statement. “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.
Hofstra considered outside candidates, such as Bryant coach Jared Grasso, and Mike Farrelly, who was the interim coach this past season and now will be leaving the program, sources said. Ultimately, the choice was Claxton, the former Hofstra star.
After a sensational career at Hofstra, in which he scored 2,015 points and led the Pride to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2000, Claxton was taken in the first round (20th overall) in the 2000 NBA Draft by the 76ers. The 42-year-old Claxton had his No. 10 jersey retired by Hofstra in 2009 and he was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.