NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College women's basketball head coach Anthony Bozzella has been named head coach of the women's program at his alma mater, Seton Hall University, university officials and Bozzella announced Wednesday.
"This is one of the most difficult professional decisions of my life," Bozzella said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my years at Iona College – the Iona community is awesome and my children have virtually grown up on this campus. Seton Hall is where I met my wife and where I grew into a man. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go back to my alma mater and give back to a place that has given so much to me."
Seton Hall, located in South Orange, NJ, is a member of the Big East conference. Bozzella graduated from the university in 1988.
"Coach Bozzella has been a key figure in Iona College women's athletics, turning the basketball program around and making it a perennial contender in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)," said Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall, Jr. "He's been not only an effective recruiter and coach, but also an Iona ambassador whose players are excellent students as well as athletes. We thank him for all he's done for the College and wish him well at Seton Hall."
Bozzella finished his 11-year career at Iona on a high note. The Gaels made the field of the Women's NIT, the fourth-ever postseason appearance for the program, all under the direction of Coach Bozzella.
During his tenure, Iona reached the MAAC Championship game three times – including this past season – as made six semifinal appearances. Academically, Bozzella produced nearly a perfect retention and graduation rate of the student-athletes he recruited while mentoring a conference-high 64 MAAC All-Academic honorees.
After eight seasons as head coach at Division II Southampton College and two at Long Island University Brooklyn, Bozzella came to Iona prior to the 2002-03 season. By the 2005-06 campaign, he guided the Gaels to their first winning season in 23 years. Bozzella’s overall record at Iona was 152-187, including a mark of 138-117 since 2005-06. He led the Gaels to 88 conference wins, and to three 20-win seasons in 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2012-13.
A national search for a replacement will begin immediately. Current assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ashlee Kelly will serve as interim head coach.