Knights Men’s Basketball Celebrates 75 Years on the Court

A man goes up for a layup shot while playing basketball. On December 5, 1949, the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights men’s basketball team took the court for the first time. Seventy-five years later the program has built a legacy based upon the principles of integrity, pride, resilience, respect and unity.

Over those seventy-five seasons the Knights have had nine head coaches and more than 1,000 all-time victories and counting! Three players have been drafted to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and several have gone on to play internationally.

Let’s take a trip through the decades at some of the team’s best moments on the court.

Where it all started 

A head shot of a man smiling wearing a tie, dress shirt and suit jacket1949 — Richard “Dick” Holub and the Knights began the team’s journey at FDU’s Rutherford Campus, the original home of the Knights. The original squad consisted of 14 players, including FDU great George Glasgow. 


1954 — FDU’s first mascot, a Knight, makes his debut. 


1956 — The Knights appear on television for the first time on home court! The game was aired as part of a college basketball program on Channel 13. Checkout the pre-game show the audience saw!


1966 — Jack Devine takes over coaching duties from Dick Holub becoming the second coach in Knights history.

1969 — Al LoBalbo takes the helm as the third coach in program history. He would coach the Knights until 1980 (11 seasons).

1970 — During the 1970—71 season the Knights played for the first time at Madison Square Garden, two years after the arena opened (February 11, 1968). They would defeat Dartmouth 53-48. 

1970 — Coach Al LoBalbo’s Knights are ranked No. 1 nationally in defense. 

Headed to Hackensack

1980 — Don Feely becomes the fourth head coach for the Knights, having a short tenure of only three seasons. 

1983 — Tom Green begins his role as the fifth head coach in program history. Green holds the longest tenure in men’s basketball history, coaching for 26 seasons with record of 407-351 (.537). Green accumulated 23 NEC appearances, including four title wins leading to the same number of NCAA tournament appearances (1985, 1988, 1998 and 2005).

1985 — The University breaks ground on the George and Phyllis Rothman Center. The gift from the Rothmans, in the form of a $1 million donation to Fairleigh Dickinson University. The then Rothman Center opened in 1987 and became the new home of the Knights. It has since been renamed the Bogota Savings Bank Center in 2024. 

FDU Magazine cover featuring a group of basketball players. 1998 — The Knights made their first NCAA appearance since 1988, clinching their third Northeast Conference (NEC) championship. They are narrowly defeated by No. 2 seed UConn 93-85.


2005 — The Knights win their fifth NEC championship title and land a ticket to their first trip to the “Big Dance” since 1998. 

2009 — Greg Vetrone joins the Knights as head coach. He remained with the Knights for four seasons.

2013 — Greg Herenda, a Bergen County native, is named the seventh head coach. He would coach the Knights for nine seasons, two NEC championships and two NCAA appearances.

2013 — The Knights have back-to-back wins against in state rivals Rutgers University and Seton Hall University. 

2016 — The Knights clinch their sixth NEC title since 2005, they appear in their fifth NCAA Tournament.

2018 — Knights defeat Princeton University for the second time in program history. 

2019 — For the first time in program history the Knights win an NCAA Tournament game, defeating Prairie View A&M in the First Four Round of tournament play.

A New Era Begins

FDU Knights player on the court2022 — Tobin Anderson takes the helm as the eighth head coach in Knights history. He would lead the Knights to their historic win over Purdue. 

2023 — The Knights shocked the nation and busted brackets when they defeated No.1 seed Purdue University during the first round of NCAA tournament play. This moment would go on to be the greatest upset in college basketball history.

2023 — At the departure of Tobin Anderson, assistant coach Jack Castleberry is elevated to head coach. 

2023 — The Knights sign a multi-game broadcast agreement with the YES Network, which saw eight FDU basketball games air live on the YES Network and the YES App during the 2023—24 season.

Knights Men's Basketball
go to what’s new