August 29, 1956 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1978–1981||DeMatha Catholic HS (asst.)|
|1981–1998||La Salle (asst.)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|3× MAAC Coach of the Year (1999, 2005, 2013)|
He received the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award in 2013.
Mihalich spent 17 years, from 1981-1998, at his Alma Mater as an Assistant Coach under Head Coaches Dave “Lefty” Ervin and the legendary William “Speedy” Morris. Mihalich was a part of 8 postseason appearances including 5 NCAA Tournament teams. Mihalich coached several players at La Salle who would go on to play professionally in the National Basketball Association (NBA); including Simmons, Doug Overton, Randy Woods and Tim Legler.
The son of a LaSalle professor, his basketball career began as a guard on the LaSalle Explorers team as a walk-on, playing from 1974 to 1978. Mihalich literally was raised up the street from the LaSalle campus, on Chew Avenue in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. He was in the right place at the right time, playing on teams coached by Paul Westhead. The Explorers made the NCAA tournament in Mihalich's freshman year. Their star was Joe Bryant, Kobe's dad. La Salle eventually lost in overtime to Syracuse, which made the Final Four.
Basketball and sports were already in his family blood. His late father, Joseph C. Mihalich, was a pitcher in the New York Yankees farm system in the late 1940s, rooming with Whitey Ford before arm troubles sent him on the road to college studies and LaSalle, where the elder Mihalich became a professor in philosophy, carving an academic niche in the subject of sports philosophy, while his son, Joseph A., played for Westhead before starting his coaching career.
The Explorers made the NCAA tournament again his senior year. By then Mihalich knew he wanted to coach. He moved to the Maryland suburbs of Washington after graduation to be an assistant at DeMatha High School to legendary coach Morgan Wootten.
Mihalich took his first head coaching opportunity by the horns and became the most steady program in the MAAC, earning a slew of honors, awards and postseason appearances in his 15 years at the helm of Niagara. At Niagara Mihalich amassed 265 victories making the NIT in 2003, 2008, and 2012 winning a game over Troy State in 2003. Mihalich's Niagara squads made the NCAA Tournaments in 2004 and 2006 winning a game versus Florida A & M in 2006. Mihalich's teams are known for their up-tempo style scoring 70 points per game in nine of the last 10 seasons. Mihalich himself said "I played for Paul Westhead in college, coached with Morgan Wooten and Speedy Morris I think the up-tempo style is fun. Fun to play that way, fun to coach that way, it’s fun to watch."  This up-tempo, fun to watch style has earned Mihalich accolades to numerous to fully list however a few of his honors are; MAAC Coach of the Year in his first season at Niagara (1998–99), 2008 NABC District Coach of the Year, 2005 United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District II Coach of the Year, 2007 Basketball Coaches Association of New York (BCANY) Coach of the Year Award, and 2013 MAAC Coach of the Year Award.
A year of turmoil on and off the court led to Head Coach Mo Cassara being relieved of duties on March 22, 2013. After a nationwide search, on April 10, 2013, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Athletic Director Jeffrey Hathaway announced the hire of Joe Mihalich. Mihalich brought over to his staff Assistant Coaches Mike Farrelly and Shane Nichols from Niagara. Mihalich later added Hofstra legend Craig "Speedy" Claxton as special assistant to the head coach.
|Niagara University Purple Eagles (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) (1998–2013)|
|Niagara Purple Eagles:||264-203 (.565)||164-104 (.612)|
|Hofstra Pride (Colonial Athletic Association) (2013–present)|
|2014–15||Hofstra||20–14||10–8||5th||CBI First Round|
|2015–16||Hofstra||24–10||14–4||1st||NIT First Round|
|Hofstra Pride:||63–57 (.525)||29–28 (.509)|
National champion Postseason invitational champion
- Joe Mihalich. purpleeagles.com
- Statements from former neighbors of Mihalich family.
- "USATODAY.com - Shaping a coach's philosophy". usatoday30.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
- Mihalich, Joseph C. (1982-01-01). Sports and athletics: philosophy in action. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 9780847670765.