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SNHU names Jack Perri men's basketball coach

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 05. 2018 11:35PM
Southern New Hampshire University has named Jack Perri as the university's new men's basketball coach. (COURTESY)

The Southern New Hampshire men’s basketball program always seemed to be taking steps forward under former head coach Stan Spirou. Now it’s Jack Perri’s job to keep things moving in that direction.

Perri, who spent last season as an assistant coach at Boston University, was officially introduced as SNHU’s head coach Tuesday. He replaces Spirou, who announced his retirement following the 2017-18 season. Spirou guided SNHU to a 640-341 record during his 33 seasons as the program’s head coach.

“It wasn’t like I was looking for another opportunity, but when I heard Stan was retiring the immediate thought was: This is something that could be a great fit,” Perri said. “There were a lot of things that attracted me to this job. First and foremost I know how great the league (Northeast-10) is because I played and coached in it (both at Bentley University).

“Southern New Hampshire has had a great tradition. The community rallies around the program. There’s great support there. The reality is I want to be a head coach. That’s what I am — I’m a head coach.”

Perri, 43, has run two other college programs. He was the head coach at Division III Rhode Island College for one year, and spent five seasons as the head coach at Division I LIU Brooklyn. He guided Rhode Island College to a 20-9 record and a share of the Little East Conference regular-season championship in 2004-05, when he was named the league’s top coach.

LIU Brooklyn went 77-79 during Perri’s tenure, which ended when his contract was not renewed following the 2016-17 season. Perri faced a rebuilding job after guiding LIU Brooklyn to the NCAA tournament in his first season as head coach. His departure was a head-scratcher for some, since LIU Brooklyn won 20 games during the 2016-17 season and finished second in the Northeast Conference with a 13-5 record.

“SNHU made a great choice,” said Penn State assistant coach Jim Ferry, who was was the head coach at LIU Brooklyn during Perri’s time as an assistant at that school. “They got a truly special person and outstanding coach who has led teams to championship levels. Jack’s teams have always played unselfish, tough and disciplined. He will lead SNHU basketball with character and integrity, and he will continue the great basketball tradition that coach Spirou established.”

A Manalapan, N.J., native, Perri was a two-time captain at Bentley and played one game against a Spirou-coached New Hampshire College (now SNHU) team during his college career. His coaching career began when he spent six seasons as the top assistant at Bentley. During his time there the Falcons climbed to No. 1 in the nation in 2004-05, when they finished with a 30-6 record. He also helped Bentley advance to the Elite Eight in 2006-07, when the Falcons went 32-1.

Perri overcame long odds to become SNHU’s sixth head coach. According to SNHU athletic media relations, there were about 250 applicants for the job.

Perri said he does not have a relationship with Spriou, but looks forward to picking Spirou’s brain about the challenges he will face as SNHU’s head coach.

“You do not replace a coaching icon like Stan Spirou, and the impact he has had on this university and basketball program, but rather hope the next head coach values that success and will continue it in order to advance that tradition in his own way,” SNHU director of athletics Anthony Fallacaro said. “That takes a special person with tremendous vision and experience in building a basketball program the students, community and alumni can be proud of, and I think we found all of that and more in coach Perri.”

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