Montclair, NJ (8/26/09) – Montclair State men’s basketball head coach Ted Fiore will add another credit to his already brilliant coaching career as he will among the newest inductees into the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame. Fiore will be honored on October 15 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark
Fiore was a standout at Seton Hall Prep during his scholastic days and went on to Seton Hall University where he starred in both basketball and baseball. A member of the school’s Hall of Fame, Fiore played two seasons in the Cincinnati Reds organization before entering the coaching ranks. He built his overall coaching reputation at Cedar Grove High School and Our Lady of the Valley (now closed) in Orange. In 15 years, Fiore totaled a record of 290 wins and only 78 losses in basketball and 220 wins and just 83 losses as a baseball coach. All totaled, he was 510-161 in two sports, for a high school winning percentage of .760.
Fiore would eventually take over as the head men’s basketball coach at St. Peter’s College in Jersey City where he ran the Peacocks’ program from 1986-95, compiling a 151-110 mark, placing himself second on the school’s all-time list for coaching victories. Four times during his tenure did St. Peter’s reach the post-season, including two trips to the “Big Dance” (1991 and 1995) otherwise known as the NCAA Tournament. He was named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s (MAAC) Coach of the Year three times and was twice voted the Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Coaches and Sportswriter’s Association and the Metropolitan Sportswriters association.
After spending three years as a college basketball television analyst on the Fox/Madison Square Garden Network, and with SportsChannel, he also worked with Comcast Cable TV and was an advance scout for the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
In 1998 Fiore became the 11th coach in the history of men’s basketball at Montclair State and from the moment he stepped onto the sidelines at Panzer Gym, Fiore immediately turned Montclair State into a perennial contender. In his first season, Fiore took MSU to the ECAC Metro Tournament final and followed that up with the 2000 ECAC Championship as his team went 20-8, the first time in 16 years that a Montclair State team had won 20 games in a season. Included in that were MSU’s first trip to the NJAC Tournament in five years, two in-season tournament titles, and an undefeated non-conference mark (the first since the 1969-70 season). Fiore was named the NJAC Coach of the Year.
In 2002, Fiore continued to guide the Red Hawks’ rise as he led Montclair to a 19-9 mark and a 12-6 record in the rugged New Jersey Athletic Conference. The league mark was good enough for first place, giving MSU its first regular-season championship since the 1983-84 season and a home game in the conference playoffs for the first time since that same season. Fiore also recorded the 200th victory of his career as MSU defeated rival William Paterson, 54-51.
The following year, Fiore guided MSU to the most successful season it had seen in over two decades. With a talented cast playing his patented defensive style, Montclair went 23-6 (one win shy of the school record), captured the 2003 New Jersey Athletic Conference championship for the first time since 1982 and earned its first trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament in eight years. Back in the NCAAs for the first time since 1995, Montclair made the most of its opportunity, winning its first two games and reaching the “Sweet 16” before closing out the campaign in the Sectional semifinals. Not since 1984 had MSU played that deep into the month of March.
Last season Fiore led Montclair State to the NJAC North Division championship and a 21-7 overall mark, just the eighth time in program history that MSU has posted 20 more wins in a season.
In his 11 seasons at Montclair State, Fiore has fashioned a 171-104 record for a .601 winning percentage, which is the second-best among all Montclair State coaches who roamed the sidelines for five or more seasons. In a 19-year career, he has nearly 300 games (322), averaging over 16 wins per season while taking his team to the post-season eight times. In addition, the Red Hawks as a program have had just three players named to the National Basketball Coaches Association All-American Team since 1967 and Fiore has coached two of them - Anthony Peeples (1999) and Gian Paul Gonzalez (2006).
The Newark Hall of Fame was created in 1988 to play a vital role in improving the quality of life in the City by promoting the accomplishments of Newark athletes and project the inductees as positive role models for the young people in Newark. Fiore becomes the third Montclair State head coach to be inducted into the Newark Hall of Fame. Head football coach Rick Giancola was enshrined in 1993 while softball head coach Anita Kubicka was inducted in 1995.