Geno Ford at a Stony Brook University Men’s Basketball game. On April 2, Ford was officially introduced as Stony Brook Men’s Basketball’s new head coach at a press conference. COURTESY OF STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY

In front of a crowd packed with students, reporters, players and fans at Island Federal Credit Union Arena, Stony Brook Men’s Basketball new head coach, Geno Ford, held his introductory press conference on Tuesday, April 2. Both Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron and University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. also spoke, offering their full support behind the Seawolves’ fourth head coach in Division I history.

“When I began this search, I felt that it was my duty to really step back and look across the country at some amazing coaches who were very interested in this job,” Heilbron said. “But quickly I realized that the right person for this job was right down the hall in Geno Ford … Our goal is to become a household name this time of year. When you think of March Madness, you think of Stony Brook.”

Ford, who went 68-37 with two MAC regular season titles as the head coach of Kent State from 2008 to 2011, joined Stony Brook’s staff in 2016 at the request of former college teammate and predecessor Jeff Boals. During his tenure as the Seawolves’ assistant head coach, Ford developed genuine relationships with players and became known for his role as a teacher and a mentor.

Ford spoke at length about his plans to lead a young team that came minutes away from earning a regular season title against Vermont in March. “We want to be the toughest team in the league,” Ford said. “Last year, we led the league in rebounding. We did not lead the league in taking charges [or] loose balls. Those things will change. We really want to play a physical brand of blue-collar basketball. We’ll play a little bit faster, we’ll be down the floor pressing … that’s something we’ll be a little more committed to doing moving forward.”

In addition, he plans on creating a big-name schedule for the Seawolves’ upcoming season. “Our goal, if we really want to be that national brand, [is to] surpass those types of programs [like Wofford] to get to where we want to,” Ford said. “That means we’ve got to go schedule hard. We are going to look to play absolutely any Power 5 team we can get. We will be very aggressive trying to schedule the best teams we can get to play here at Island Federal.”

Ford will now have to gameplan with one less man on his roster. Sophomore guard Corry Long announced his intent to transfer on Twitter, citing a desire to continue his academic and athletic career elsewhere. Long saw limited action during the 2018-2019 season, appearing in 26 games but averaging only 5.8 minutes per contest. Long’s only career start for the Seawolves came during the loss to South Florida in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.

“I want to win right now,” Heilbron said. “We are so close to being where we want to be as a program, and our trajectory is only rising, and I truly believe our greatest successes lie ahead of us with Geno Ford as our head coach.”