After more than 25 years, could make any job boring or monotonous, but men’s basketball veteran head coach Joseph Nesci has found ways to stay invested in his job. With the NYU men’s basketball team in the middle of postseason contention, Nesci is looking to take his squad to the next level and compete in the
Before coaching at NYU, Nesci worked as a basketball coach and teacher at Xavier High School in New York City. He applied for an assistant coaching position with the men’s basketball team when NYU brought back its basketball program in the 1984-85 season. Nesci earned the head coach spot in 1989 and has since gone on to become the winningest coach in the program’s history with a 455-223 record in 26 seasons.
Under Nesci, the Violets have had 25 winning seasons and 19 post-season appearances. During the ’90s Nesci led the team to seven straight NCAA Division III Championship bids from 1992 to 1998. In 2007, Nesci also coached the Violets to the Eastern College Athletic Association Metro Tournament title.
For all his accolades, Nesci takes the most pride in the relationships he has cultivated over the years between the players on his teams, many of whom still stay in contact.
“I have been blessed to have this opportunity to work with so many talented young men and I still enjoy the challenge of working with new players to achieve a common goal” Nesci said.
Nesci takes joy in the ways he continually finds new methods of reaching younger players. After over a quarter of a decade of coaching, players have changed, but Nesci’s philosophy has not.
“Coaching has not become repetitive,” Nesci said. “We don’t really change what we teach as much as trying new things. It’s a lot like teaching in a classroom, you always have a new audience to get through to. The presence of new blood every year also invigorates the team.”
After two tough losses last weekend, the Violets are now 16-8. Despite the recent losses, the Violets still have two break out stars in juniors Evan Kupferberg and Hakeem Harris, who transferred to NYU this season.
“Kupferberg has been consistent the entire season and Harris has done a great job incorporating himself on the team, learning our system and making friends.” Nesci said.
Teamwork and perseverance is at the core of Nesci’s coaching philosophy.
“Basketball is the ultimate team sport,” Nesci said. “Nothing can coalesce or come together without the effort of every man on the court.”
Despite the way the season is ending, Nesci still believes his team has every opportunity to win if given the chance to compete in the postseason. For right now, however, he is more focused on their upcoming game.
With the last game of the regular season coming up Feb. 28 against Brandeis University, Nesci and the rest of the coaching staff are in the process of formulating a new game plan to avenge a close loss to the Owls earlier in the season.
While the Violets post-season aspirations are still in flux, one thing is not; they have a caring and dedicated head coach leading the way.
A version of this article appeared in the Feb. 24 print edition. Email Kyle Luther at [email protected]