In the most surprising and probably the least logical news I have seen and/or heard in all of my years of watching and covering LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball for the past twenty years, LIU Brooklyn have decided to part ways with men’s basketball head coach Jack Perri after five seasons and twelve years in total at the university as both a head coach and an assistant coach.
The news was first reported by ESPN college basketball insider Jeff Goodman this afternoon.
LIU Brooklyn athletic director Brad Cohen released the following statement a little while after the news broke on Twitter.
LIU Brooklyn has informed head men’s basketball coach John Perri that it will not renew his contract which expires in August. LIU is grateful for his many contributions to our program and wish him great success in the future. A search for a new head men’s basketball coach is underway. The University will provide additional information when a selection has been made.
Just an aside from Cohen’s statement, John is his Perri’s given name.
So the LIU Brooklyn administration decided not to renew the contract of their head coach after he won twenty games and finished in second place in the Northeast Conference standings this season.
Perri built this program back up from their three-year run of winning the NEC and losing several of the best players in not just LIU Brooklyn basketball history but NEC history.
He took this team from 9 wins the year after their historic run ended to 12 wins the year after that to 16 wins the year after that to 20 wins this season and received not one but TWO postseason invitations.
It became odd when the news come along last week that LIU Brooklyn decided not to accept either postseason invitation. Let’s face it, this is not a university or a program that gets into the postseason every year and are in a position to decline invitations to play in any postseason tournament. Now, things have become crystal-clear why the decision was made and it all points at the LIU administration.
Perri served the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball program with great pride and dignity and for him to not even get a consideration to have his contract renewed is one of the most mind-boggling decisions I have come across in my time surrounding myself around this program.
This program would not nearly have had a lot of the successes they have had in the past decade without the hard work in both coaching and recruiting Jack Perri brought to LIU Brooklyn.
As an assistant and then an associate head coach to former LIU head coach Jim Ferry, Perri was credited for helping recruit many players that helped shaped this program. Perri recruited Jason Brickman and brought him to LIU Brooklyn where he became the fourth-best NCAA assist man of ALL-TIME.
He coached THREE NEC Player of the Years at LIU in Julian Boyd, Jamal Olasewere, and Jerome Frink and he probably would have another one in Taurean Waller-Prince had he decided to come to LIU instead of going to Baylor after Jim Ferry left for Duquesne. He coached several All-NEC players and was a huge part in their three straight NEC titles.
This team won twenty games this season despite losing one of their seniors and one of their key players in Joel Hernandez in game one and then having to deal with the surprising death of Jerome Frink’s father passing late in the season and the obvious effect that had on him.
He started two freshmen in the backcourt and had to rely on a young and mostly inexperienced bench this season. He brought along some young talent in All-Rookie team selection Jashaun Agosto, Julian Batts, Julius van Sauers, Raul Frias and Raiquan Clark.
With a couple of smart additions this offseason, this team was in good shape to be in a position to make a possible run at it next season. Now, everything is up in the air.
On a personal note, coming from not just a person who follows this team year in and year out but as an alum of this institution, I absolutely hate this decision announced today by the university and their administration.
Jack Perri is a very good basketball coach. He is even a better person. He didn’t deserve to be let go.
This administration should have been the ones running to his office to get his signature on a new contract but instead, let go of a guy and coach who has done nothing but represent that university in a positive light and has been doing things the right way at a low-major for a long time.
I wish Jack Perri and his wife Julie and their three young children well. I wish the entire Perri family well. I’m personally going to miss seeing them and chatting with them at games in the future. They are all wonderful people and deserved better than what they were given.
Many thanks to Jack for his years of support, help, and insight to Blackbirds Hoops Journal. With that and the support and help of many others, this site would have died a slow death several years ago. Thank you, Jack and his coaching staff for that.
I hope for Jack’s sake, he lands on his feet and finds a coaching job sooner than later. If anything, if he doesn’t find a head coaching job, I hope he lands back with Jim Ferry and his staff if Ferry lands a job somewhere. Think about that, Jack Perri and Jim Ferry looking for head coaching jobs in the same offseason. This college coaching industry makes little sense.
As for the future of LIU Brooklyn. Who knows?
There are some names being brought up but I haven’t had the desire to even take a serious look at them. Some names make little sense. Some make more but right now, I could care less.
LIU had their guy. We had our guy, and he is gone for no good reason.
They better hit a homerun on their next head coach because otherwise, this will go down as one of the worst decisions that could have been possibly made for the future and stability of this program.