Rutgers hires Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Rutgers has hired Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell.

Pikiell, a former guard for Jim Calhoun at UConn, has spent his 11 seasons as a head coach at Stony Brook. He took over a team that won four games in his first season and built it into an America East powerhouse. They’ve won at least 20 games in six of the last seven seasons, including the last five in a row.

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Pikiell has won four America East regular season titles in that stretch, but Pikiell didn’t make the NCAA tournament until this season, losing in the America East title game four times in a five year stretch. Rutgers is not a great job, but with Pikiell losing two of the program’s three all-time leading scorers this season — including three-time America East Player of the Year Jameel Warney — it was now or never for Pikiell if he wanted to get his shot at the high major level.

He’ll replace Eddie Jordan at Rutgers, who was never able to get that program up and running in the Big Ten. He went 3-33 in the Big Ten the last two seasons.