Hitting the Court with Tobin Anderson

Head Coach, Division I Men’s Basketball

 

Tobin Anderson, the new head coach of the Knights men’s basketball team, in conversation on the court. (Photo: Larry Levanti)

By Sara Campione

In May 2022, FDU Knights athletics announced that Tobin Anderson would become the eighth head men’s basketball coach in program history. FDU Magazine sat down with Anderson to get insight into his coaching philosophy and values, and his goals for the future of Knights men’s basketball.

FDU Magazine: What drew you to coaching?

Tobin Anderson: I always wanted to be a coach. I was at practice with my dad, who was a high-school basketball coach, from the time I could walk. I remember watching the University of Notre Dame play on TV — watching Digger Phelps and his teams, and I thought it would be great to coach at a college.

FDU Magazine: What kind of energy do you want to see in practice and the locker room? 

TA: You must have passion for what you do. You must have enthusiasm. The Ralph Waldo Emerson quote always sticks with me, “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” I want our guys to enjoy the practice. Not that it’s easy, but it’s competitive. I want the locker room to embody that … we are excited to be here and ready to work.

FDU Magazine: What are your core values as a head coach?

TA: Team attitude. The team always comes first. We use we, us, together. It’s about commitment, communication, planning and arete — a Greek word for excellence. We are pursuing excellence in everything we do. Every good relationship is built on honest and open communication. We are constantly looking to make the next play.

FDU Magazine: What is your view on the relationship between academics and athletics?

TA: We talk a lot about the way you do anything is the way you do everything. I don’t think you can be a great player without giving a great effort in the classroom. We want players to strive to reach their academic potential — do all the right things. Be early, sit in the front, put your phone down, take great notes, get extra help and get things done ahead of time. We want our guys to have the same habits in the classroom that they have on the court.

FDU Magazine: What’s your favorite part of a game? 

TA: The last five minutes of a close game are always great. It doesn’t always turn out the way you want, but it is fun to see a team that is prepared and focused that can execute with the game on the line. I’m not a big believer in calling time-outs down the stretch. I want our guys to play with freedom and make plays.

FDU Magazine: Do you have plans to develop internal and external community support, not just for men’s basketball but for all of Knights athletics?

TA: Absolutely. We are going to do all we can to generate excitement and enthusiasm in the community. We want to pack the Rothman Center and create a great game-day environment. We will have camps, clinics, a tip-off dinner and everything we can do to make an FDU basketball game a must-see event. Most importantly, we want to have a team that plays hard, competes at a high level and wins games!