Widely regarded as one of the top young coaches in the country, Joe Tartamella has received a contract extension through the 2019-20 season.
“I want to thank Chris Monasch and President Dr. Gempesaw for their belief and support in me, my team and my family,” said Tartamella. “St. John’s has been my home for 13 years of my career as a coach and I am honored to be the head coach of this proud program.”
Director of Athletics Chris Monasch praised Tartamella’s work in building St. John’s Women’s basketball into the program that it is today.
“Joe has made a seamless transition to being a head coach,” said Monasch. “His leadership has perpetuated a consistent level of accomplishment that has never been seen in our program’s history – specifically five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Joe has also continued to recruit a high level of student-athlete, hopefully insuring that our success will continue. Along with being accomplished athletes, the women in our program do well in the classroom and are leaders in the community.”
Tartamella, 35, has been an integral part of the St. John’s women’s basketball program’s resurgence over the last decade. Beginning as a graduate assistant for the 2002-03 campaign, Tartamella has been a part of six NCAA Tournament berths and eight postseason appearances overall. He served as an assistant coach from 2005-08 before being elevated to the position of associate head coach for the 2008-09 season. In his four seasons as the number two coach on the staff, Tartamella’s teams never failed to miss the postseason, earning a WNIT berth in 2009 before beginning a stretch of five-straight NCAA Tournament berths the following season.
As a head coach, Tartamella has taken the Red Storm to the Big Dance in each of his two seasons. This past March in Knoxville, Tenn., the St. James, N.Y., native recorded his first NCAA Tournament win, as a last-second Briana Brown three-pointer lifted St. John’s over USC in thrilling fashion.
Since taking over as head coach for the 2012-13 season, Tartamella has compiled a record of 50-25, good enough for a winning percentage of .667, the highest such number for any St. John’s coach since 1984. He also touts one of the best winning percentages for coaches that took control of their programs for the 2012-13 season.
A tireless recruiter, Tartamella helped bring some of the greatest players in program history to Queens, including, but not limited to, Nadirah McKenith, Shenneika Smith and Amber Thompson. Following Tartamella’s first year as head coach, McKenith and Smith became the first two players in program history selected in the WNBA Draft.
Tartamella’s first NLI signing as a head coach was that of Aliyyah Handford, who recently eclipsed the 1,000 point mark as a junior and found a spot on the watch list for the Naismith Trophy.
In February of 2012, Tartamella boasted the scout in the highest profile win in program history, when the Red Storm ended UConn’s 99-game home winning streak in Storrs.
This season, Tartamella has led the Red Storm to its best start since the 2004-05 campaign, as St. John’s claimed victory in each of its first 10 games and earned a spot in the USA Today Sports Coaches Poll for the first time since December of 2012.
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