Joe Loughran

To say that Joe Loughran has changed the way the Rutgers-Newark men’s basketball program is perceived is a classical understatement.

Entering his 10th season at the Scarlet Raider helm, the mentor has turned Rutgers-Newark into a perennial post-season contender while pushing the program to unprecedented heights.

After guiding the Raiders to their first-ever New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship game appearance in 2009, he led a senior-laden team to a school-record 20-8 season capped by the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament last March. The Raiders also notched a best-ever 9-4 NJAC record.

Under Loughran’s guidance, Rutgers-Newark has reeled off seven straight winning regular seasons with five NJAC Championship Tournament showings, four ECAC Metro Championship berths and the crowning NCAA appearance.

Prior to his arrival in 2001, the Raiders had posted just two winning seasons since 1988. A pair of ECAC Metro Championship berths and one trip to the NJAC Championship Tournament were the program’s only post-season journeys in over 30 seasons.

The Scarlet Raiders have made the field for five of the last six NJAC Championship Tournaments, earning an opening round victory to reach the semifinals each time (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010). Under Loughran’s leadership, the Raiders posted consecutive winning records of 13-12 in 2003-04, 18-11 in 2004-05, 18-10 in 2005-06, and 18-11 in 2006-07. After a 13-12 regular season in 2007-08, Rutgers-Newark finished 13-13 overall after a trip to the ECAC Metro Championship opening round for the only .500 year in the last seven. His teams went 17-13 in 2008-09 and 20-8 in 2009-10.

Loughran has developed several outstanding players including All-NJAC first team selections Chadd Barnes, Jermont Horton, Asmar Fortney and Deshawn Singleton. Guard Justin Carter was the 2005-06 NJAC Defensive Player of the Year. Four Raiders (Chadd Barnes, Jermont Horton, David Cherry and Deshawn Singleton) have joined the 1,000-Point Club during Loughran’s tenure, accounting for a third of the 12 Rutgers-Newark players in the school’s history to reach the coveted plateau.

Loughran has also developed coaching talent. Former Rutgers-Camden head men’s basketball coach Brian Wischusen was a Loughran assistant for four seasons while current associate head coach Bill Zasowski served for one year as head coach at Ocean County College after studying under Loughran for three seasons. Zasowski earned 2005-06 Region 19 Coach of the Year Honors by leading his squad to a 20-9 record and a Garden State Conference championship before returning to Newark.

As the athletic academic coordinator for the department, Loughran has been instrumental in the outstanding overall performance of Rutgers-Newark student-athletes. Over the past seven years, nearly 50 per cent of student-athletes have earned Academic Achievement Awards presented for attaining a 3.0 grade point average or better while completing a full-time course load of 12 hours or more for a semester.

The Scarlet Raider Basketball Camp, coordinated by Loughran, has been a three-session capacity day camp in The Golden Dome for the past several summers.

Loughran came to the Scarlet Raiders from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, where he served as Kevin O’Brien’s top assistant in 2000-2001. He also served as an assistant at Division I Hartford in 1999-2000 and Division II American International College from 1995-1999. Loughran began his coaching career with a two-season stint at Division III Norwich (1993-1995).

Loughran earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies in 1993 and master of education in 1999 at American International College.