Anthony Joseph "Tony" Bozzella (born November 21, 1965) is the current head coach of the Seton Hall University women's basketball team. He returned to his alma mater as the head women's basketball coach prior to the 2013-14 season. In six years at the helm, Bozzella has turned the program around completely and reached the postseason five times with two NCAA Tournament appearances. He holds the best winning percentage in modern program history by a wide margin and has built a program that figures to compete for the top spot in the BIG EAST year-in and year-out.
|Born||November 21, 1965|
|Alma mater||Seton Hall|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
In his six-year tenure at Seton Hall, Bozzella holds an overall record of 114-80. During his 27-year head coaching career his record sits at 420-398.
During the 2018-19 season, Bozzella mentored Shadeen Samuels into the second BIG EAST scoring champion school history and the league's Most Improved Player. Samuels was also a First Team All-BIG EAST pick on a squad that reached the WNIT for the second-straight year.
In 2017-18 the Pirates finished 16-16, earning a home game in the 2018 WNIT for their fourth postseason bid in five seasons. On Jan. 14 against Georgetown, Bozzella earned the 400th victory of his collegiate coaching career.
The 2016-17 season saw a pair of Pirates earn major individual honors, as Kaela HIlaire was a unanimous All-Rookie selection and JaQuan Jackson picked up an All-Met Second Team nod. The Pirates finished seventh in the BIG EAST, matching their preseason projection despite the graduation of four starters and nearly 80 percent of their scoring from a season prior. The Hall also won a game in the BIG EAST Tournament for the fifth-straight year.
Always willing to do anything in support of the growth of women's basketball, Bozzella took part in a historic television event on Dec. 30, 2016. For The Hall's rivalry game against St. John's, Bozzella and SJU head coach Joe Tartamella were "Mic'd Up" for the duration of the nationally-televised broadcast. The endeavor was featured in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press as Bozzella's sideline antics were center stage during a 63-59 victory.
In the 2015-16 campaign, Bozzella followed the winningest season in program history with yet another NCAA Tournament bid. The Hall went 23-9 and finished second in the BIG EAST with a 12-6 record, despite a preseason projection of fifth. Tabatha Richardson-Smith became SHU's all-time leading scorer under Bozzella's tutelage and won the first BIG EAST scoring title in program history. Richardson-Smith was one of three Pirates along with Aleesha Powell and Shakena Richardson to earn All-Conference accolades following the season, while Richardson became the first WNBA Draft Pick in program history.
Seton Hall won a program-record 28 games in 2014-15, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, its first invitation to the Big Dance since 1995. The Pirates went 15-3 in the BIG EAST, finishing the regular season as Co-BIG EAST Champions for the first time in program history, and as the No. 1 seed advanced to the conference championship game for the first time since 1995.
Bozzella was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year, won the Maggie Dixon Division I Coach of the Year award presented by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, and was one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Division I Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year award. All of that success further translated to individual accolades. Seton Hall boasted a pair of First-Team All-BIG EAST performers (Ka-Deidre Simmons and Daisha Simmons) for the first time in its history, and with Tabatha Richardson-Smith named Second-Team All-BIG EAST the Pirates had three All-Conference members for the first time. Ka-Deidre and Daisha Simmons were named Honorable Mention All-Americans, the first time a pair or Pirates received that distinction in the same season.
In 2013-14 Bozzella led the Pirates to a 20-14 overall record and a berth to the WNIT. The postseason appearance was just the sixth in program history and the first since 2007, and The Hall advanced to the third round of the tournament for the first time. Instituting a player-friendly fast-paced offensive style, Bozzella's squads have posted three of the top-five scoring seasons in program history, with the 2014-15 team netting a record 2,569 points.
A 1989 graduate of Seton Hall University, Bozzella is the fourth women's basketball coach in Seton Hall history. He brought 21 years of collegiate head coaching experience to South Orange, spending the previous 11 seasons at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he resurrected the Gaels' program into a perennial contender in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Over his final eight seasons at Iona, Bozzella's impact really began to take shape. During that stretch he posted a 138-116 overall record, reaching three MAAC title games and earning four WNIT berths over a seven-year span. With a 20-13 overall record in 2012-13, Bozzella recorded his third 20-win season at Iona, reached the MAAC championship game for the third time and guided the Gaels to their fourth WNIT appearance. He coached a pair of MAAC Players of the Year, saw four of his players earn MAAC Rookie of the Year accolades, and had 21 players named All-MAAC from 2006-13.
Bozzella's 85-56 record in the MAAC over his final seven seasons at Iona was the second best mark in the league. He was named the Co-MAAC Coach of the Year in 2005-06, when he guided the Gaels to their first winning season in 23 years, tying for third place in the MAAC standings before advancing to the semifinals in the conference tournament. Exceptional academic achievement was a trademark for Bozzella during his tenure at Iona. He boasted a 100 percent graduation rate for all the players he recruited in addition to seeing 64 student-athletes earn MAAC All-Academic honors.
The Iona women's basketball program boasted a perfect NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) score in five of his last six seasons and received four-straight NCAA APR Public Recognition Awards.
Prior taking the reins at Iona, he commandeered an amazing turnaround in just two years at the head coach at LIU Brooklyn. There he coached a team that had not posted a winning record in 21 years to the Northeast Conference championship in just his first season, earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Bozzella received his coaching start at Southampton College of Long Island University. In a similar fashion to the way resurrecting programs would come to define his career, Bozzella took over a program that never had a winning season and turned them into a consistent winner. It took him just three seasons to guide Southampton to the first winning record in program history and that started a streak of six-straight winning campaigns, culminating with a program-record 20-9 season in 1999-00.
Bozzella and his wife, Maria, met at Seton Hall University and have been married for more than 20 years. They currently reside in West Orange, N.J., and have two children, Samantha, 23, and Joseph, 19.
Head Coaching Record
|Southampton (New York Athletic Conference) (1992–2000)|
|Southampton:||120–104 (.536)||35–41 (.461)|
|LIU Brooklyn (Northeastern Conference) (2000–2002)|
|2000–01||LIU Brooklyn||16-15||11-7||T-3rd||NCAA 1st Round|
|LIU Brooklyn:||34–27 (.557)||24–12 (.667)|
|Iona (MAAC) (2002–2013)|
|2006–07||Iona||21-13||14-5||2nd||WNIT Second Round|
|2007–08||Iona||20-14||11-7||T-2nd||WNIT Second Round|
|2009–10||Iona||18-14||13-5||2nd||WNIT First Round|
|2012–13||Iona||20-13||13-5||2nd||WNIT First Round|
|Iona:||152–187 (.448)||100–101 (.498)|
|Seton Hall (Big East) (2013–present)|
|2013–14||Seton Hall||20–14||8–10||7th||WNIT Third Round|
|2014–15||Seton Hall||28–6||15–3||T-1st||NCAA 1st Round|
|2015–16||Seton Hall||23–9||12–6||T-2nd||NCAA 1st Round|
|2017–18||Seton Hall||16–16||7–11||7th||WNIT First Round|
|2018–19||Seton Hall||15–16||7–11||T-8th||WNIT First Round|
|Seton Hall:||114–80 (.588)||53–55 (.491)|
Postseason invitational champion