Aug. 8, 2007
Houston - University of Houston head basketball coach Tom Penders has announced that one of his former players, Jerry Hobbie, has joined his staff as an assistant coach.
"Jerry is one of best guards I have coached," Penders said. "He was a leader and as a freshman played like a captain. He was a pure point guard and was one of the smartest players I had the opportunity to coach.
"I am excited about him being on our staff. He knows me and knows what I want, so he will hit the ground running. He is in the Hall of Fame at Fordham, but was a very coach able player and leader on the floor. He has proven to be an outstanding recruiter at Fairfield, and has coached successfully at the pro, collegiate and high school levels. He will be a great asset to our staff."
Hobbie comes to Houston after playing for Penders at Fordham University, where he set school record for best free throw percentage in a single season, most assists in a game and a season, and most steals in a game, season and a career. He was inducted into Fordham's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005-06.
"The primary reason I came to Houston was the opportunity to work with Coach Penders," Hobbie said. "Coach was a big part of my success and the we maintained close contact. It is a great opportunity for me to work with him."
Hobbie still holds current Ram records for best free throw percentage in a season (87.7, 64-73 in 1981-82), most assists in a game (15 against LaSalle on Dec. 28, 1984) and career steals (261). His 180 career assists and his 75 steals in the 1984-85 season rank second among the school's current leaders. His 81.5 career free throw percentage is third. During his collegiate career the Rams won the MAAC championship in 1983 and earned four NIT berths from 1982-85.
"Coach is one of those guys who want you to have confidence and the ability to perform at a high level," Hobbie said. "He really maximizes your ability and made a better player by raising the bar and having confidence in you. He is the main reason for my success as a player."
He comes to Houston after serving as an assistant coach for the Wilmington of the American Basketball League in 2006-07, and helped lead the Sea Dawgs to a 22-9 record and a first place finish in the Central Division of the Blue Conference. The Sea Dawgs advanced to the semifinals of the ABA Championship before falling at eventual champion Vermont.
Hobbie went to Wilmington after serving eight seasons on the basketball staff at Fairfield University. He served three seasons as an associate head coach and was an assistant coach for five seasons before his promotion in 2003-04.
The Stags posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1978 and won 78 MAAC games after the school had won just 88 games in the previous 17 years. Fairfield's best season during his tenure came in 2002-03, when Fairfield finished with a 19-12 record and earned a NIT berth. The Stags featured four MAAC Defensive Players of the Year, while Darren Phillip was the national rebounding leader in 2000 and Deng Gai led the nation in blocked shots before he played with the Philadelphia 76ers.
He began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Fordham in 1986-87, and spent four years as an assistant coach at St. Patrick's High School in Elizabeth, N.J., where he helped the team earn a Top 25 by the USA Today and a New Jersey state championship in 1998.
Hobbie has coached four NBA players in Gai at Fairfield, Al Harrington and Samuel Dalembert at St. Patrick's High School and Danny O'Sullivan at Fordham.
Prior to his coaching career, Hobbie played professionally with the USBL's West Chester Golden Apples in 1985, and he played two seasons in Europe with Nottingham of the English Basketball Association. He helped Nottingham win the EBL Division II Championship in 1986.
A native of Elizabeth, N.J., he and his wife, Paula, have two daughters, Joanna and Lea.