Men's Basketball Coach Tom Curle Sets New Program Record
As the game clock ticked toward all zeroes on Tuesday night in Memorial Hall, Plattsburgh State men's basketball coach Tom Curle was all smiles—and not just because the Cardinals were winning big.
With an 83-60 victory over SUNY Potsdam, Curle picked up his 205th win as Plattsburgh head coach, surpassing Joe Jastrab’s previous program record of 204. The record had stood since Jastrab’s final season in 1969.
“This means I’m getting old,” Curle said. “To earn the right to become the head coach here was an honor. But I never thought I’d become the winningest coach in program history.”
Curle, a 1982 Plattsburgh alumnus who then earned a master’s in administration and leadership in 2011, was named head coach on July 30, 2003. In his 11 full seasons, he’s led the Cardinals to four SUNYAC championships and six NCAA tournaments. His 2007-2008 team finished 16-0 in conference play and 27-3 overall, advancing to the Sweet 16, and last year’s Cardinals also reached the Sweet 16 after a second-place finish in the conference and two straight home wins in the national tournament. Curle’s .635 winning percentage is a program-best.
“We’ve had really good players in the program,” Curle said. “They’ve bought into what we’re doing and into the Plattsburgh experience.”
Athletic Director Bruce Delventhal said Curle is as good as it gets in Division III basketball.
“As good as he is when it comes to basketball, though, he’s even better as a mentor and a member of the Plattsburgh community,” Delventhal said. “He supplements everything that’s happening on the academic end. His graduation rate of his players is superior.”
Winning Isn’t Everything
With Tuesday’s win, the 2014-2015 Cardinals improved to 10-4 overall and 5-2 in SUNYAC.
Sitting in second place in the conference, they’re poised for a run at a seventh NCAA tournament under Curle. But while victories fuel Curle’s fire, they aren’t everything.
“What I love about Plattsburgh basketball is the fact that I’ve been able to share it with young men who will be alumni of the college,” Curle said. “That’s something we share, and it makes this really rewarding.”
“He’s a great role model, and he has the best attitude in the world,” Delventhal said. “Basketball aside, that’s the type of employee you want on your campus. Period.”