QUEENS, N.Y. (April 27, 2012) – Red Storm Director of Athletics Chris Monasch announced on Apr. 27 that Joe Tartamella – whose nine-year coaching tenure as an assistant at St. John’s included four NCAA Tournament appearances – will be the eighth head women’s basketball coach in St. John’s University’s 38-year program history.
“We are thrilled to introduce Joe as our new head coach,” Monasch said. “Joe has spent the last nine years as Coach Barnes Arico’s right hand person. He has been an integral part of the evolution of our program to national prominence. Along with many others in the women’s basketball world, we see Joe as a rising star and strongly believe he will maintain and build on the success of recent years.”
Regarded as one of the top up-and-coming mentors in women’s basketball, Tartamella’s coaching career has been forged over a nine-year tenure assisting St. John’s all-time winningest coach Kim Barnes Arico (2003-12). Beginning as a Red Storm graduate assistant in 2002, Tartamella worked his way through the ranks and served as Barnes Arico’s associate head coach since 2008. He has been an integral part of a staff that has been to four NCAA Tournaments, with an undefeated record in the First Round, including St. John’s run to its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 in 2012. As a program, St. John’s has been to the NCAA Tournament seven times, four with Tartamella on staff.
“It has been a dream come true for me to accept the opportunity St. John’s has offered,” Tartamella said. “I am excited and grateful to be able to make my start as head coach at such a tradition-filled and successful program. Since I have been here, I have seen first hand the willingness the University has shown to continue to make women’s basketball a priority at this school. It is a pleasure to be able to take on a larger role in these goals, which reflect my own. I am thankful for Chris Monasch and Father Harrington for allowing me to be able to continue what Kim Barnes Arico started here.”
In his nine-year career with the Red Storm, Tartamella has played a vital role in helping turn around the St. John’s women’s basketball program and lead it to its present successes. During Tartamella's tenure, St. John's has advanced to nine BIG EAST Tournaments, two Women's National Invitation Tournament appearances, including reaching the WNIT Quarterfinals in 2007-08, and four NCAA Tournaments, including the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth in more than 17 years during the 2005-06 campaign, and St. John’s first-ever NCAA Regional Semifinal appearance in 2011-12. Tartamella has coached 19 All-BIG EAST and All-Rookie players, 12 All-Met selections and has enjoyed many a national Top 25 ranking during his time at St. John's, including a program-best No. 13 AP Poll ranking during the 2011-12 campaign.
Tartamella's scouting and game-planning tactics have proved to be invaluable as St. John's has enjoyed numerous victories over Top 25 opponents, including the team's three historic upset-victories over Notre Dame when the Irish were ranked No. 13 in 2005-06, No. 9 in 2007-08 and No. 4/3 in 2009-10. In 2011-12, he boasted the winning scout in St. John's win over then-No. 2 Connecticut on Feb. 18, ending the Huskies' 99-game home-winning streak. With Tartamella as part of Barnes Arico’s staff, the Red Storm has boasted a .560 winning percentage.
Tartamella is also known for his recruiting prowess and has consistently brought in top-rated talent for the Red Storm. Highlighting his role as recruiting coordinator was the 2009-10 class that ESPN.com ranked as 10th best in the nation and No. 1 in the BIG EAST. The class, seniors for the 2012-13 season, included All-BIG EAST Freshmen Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith, who have blossomed into national headliners, both named to the 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-Region team and earned 2012 All-BIG EAST accolades, among their many collegiate honors. For the upcoming 2012-13 season, Tartamella was also instrumental in the recruitment of Sandra Udobi-Ufogu, who is ranked as high as No. 30 nationally in her class.
Prior to St. John's, Tartamella spent a year as an assistant men's basketball coach under the direction of head coach Tom Spina at SUNY Maritime College in Throgs Neck, N.Y. He also served as the assistant director of career services at SUNY Maritime College.
After completing his undergraduate degree from James Madison University in 2001, Tartamella coached alongside Joe Castiglie, the most successful coach in Stony Brook men’s basketball history, at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington Station, N.Y.
A St. James, N.Y., native, Tartamella has also been an invited guest of the Nike Villa 7 Coaches Consortium in both 2010 and 2012.
The 2012-13 Red Storm squad returns four starters, eight letterwinners and 79 percent of its scoring from its 2011-12 team that posted a 24-10 overall record and advanced to the program’s first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The 2011-12 Red Storm also enjoyed a No. 3 seed, a program best, and finished second in the BIG EAST Conference (13-3) after being picked to finish seventh in the league’s preseason poll. St. John’s defeated six ranked opponents and finished the season ranked No. 13/15 in the national polls.
Courtesy St. John's Media Relations