But 51-year-old Tobin Anderson has strong ties to both New York and Connecticut.
Bracket-busting FDU became just the second No. 16 seed to defeat a top seed when the Knights stunned Purdue 63-58 Friday night, March 17 in Columbus, Ohio. FDU was a 23.5-point underdog.
"We just made history, college basketball history tonight," Anderson told his team in the locker room after the game. "From four wins last year -- it's one of the most unbelievable stories."
FDU only made it to the tournament's First Four at the University of Dayton because the team that won its conference, Merrimack, has not been a Division I member for the required four years. Merrimack edged FDU, 67-66, in the Northeast Conference championship game on Tuesday, March 7.
FDU then defeated Texas Southern 84-61 in Dayton to set up the matchup against Purdue. The Knights will now play ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic at 7:45 p.m. Sunday, March 19 in the second round in Columbus. Florida Atlantic edged No. 8 Memphis 66-65 in its first-round game.
Anderson played college basketball at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies.
He was hired by Fairleigh Dickinson to be its head coach about a year ago after guiding the Division II team at St. Thomas Aquinas in Rockland County, located in Orangeburg, from 2013 to 2022.
Prior to that, he coached at two colleges in upstate New York: Clarkson and Hamilton.
Several FDU players have ties to the Hudson Valley. They are:
- Demetre Roberts, guard, a graduate of Mount Vernon High School in Westchester County who played under Anderson at St. Thomas Aquinas;
- Ansley Almonor, forward, from Spring Valley in Rockland County;
- Jo'el Emanuel, forward, from Suffern in Rockland County who attended the Millbrook School in Dutchess County as a post-grad student;
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