Former Fordham Prep standout Steve Herman was named Stepinac’s new basketball coach. Herman, who coached the Fordham Prep JV the last three seasons, was picked to replace Tim Philp, who stepped down last month after nine years.
Here’s the story on Herman, whose journey to this point was certainly unique:
At 25, Steve Herman felt shunned. He had starred at Fordham Prep, played four years at Holy Cross and coached three seasons of JV at Stepinac. When he was passed over for the varsity post, Herman left coaching and lived a nomadic life, one that included a hand in restaurant ownership and 10 years trying to succeed as an actor.
Nineteen years later, Herman has a new perspective.
“I thought I was ready for the job, but looking back in hindsight, maybe I wasn’t,” the 44-year old said. “But I’m definitely ready now.”
Nearly two decades after their first brush, Herman was named the 11th varsity basketball coach in Stepinac history on Friday. He was picked among a trio that also included two Stepinac alumni: current JV coach Jason Douglas and current B team coach Pat Massaroni.
Herman moved to Stepinac after three seasons as the JV coach and varsity assistant to Kevin Pigott at Fordham Prep. The JV reached the CHSAA “AA” semifinals the last two years, but he saw the opportunity for a brighter future at Stepinac.
“I want to win a city championship and I think Stepinac’s a better place for me to do that than at Fordham,” he said.
The Manhattan native grew up in the Bronx and was a 1,000-point scorer at Fordham, where he is the fourth-leading scorer in program history. He also played for the famed Riverside Church, standing alongside iconic New York City stars Kenny Anderson and Malik Sealy, among others.
The 6-foot-5 Herman played under George Blaney at Holy Cross before Stepinac hired him as its JV coach at 22, fresh out of college.
From 1991-94, he coached JV teams that included Manhattan coach Steve Masiello and Tim Philp, who resigned on Apr. 16 after winning 135 games in nine seasons as the Stepinac varsity coach.
When Stepinac hired Ed Sands as its varsity coach in 1994, Herman left the area. He and friends opened restaurants in Charlotte and Atlanta. He later worked as an actor for 10 years, including appearances on “Law & Order” and “The Sopranos.”
“It made me a better coach,” Herman said. “I learned so much about the real world stuff and have been able to apply it to the program.”
Herman, who turned 44 Friday, intends to double-down on the style employed by Philp, who was named the league coach of the year this season when his guard-heavy team reached the CHSAA’s “AA” semifinals for the first time since 1986.
Herman intends to increase possessions by playing uptempo and expects his teams to shoot liberally from 3-point land.
“Coach Philp and I share the same DNA,” Herman said. “We’re not the same coach, we’re not the same people, but we think the same way.”
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Stepinac released a statement at 3 p.m. Friday. Here’s what the school said about Herman’s hire:
Archbishop Stepinac High School announced today that Steve Herman has been named the new varsity head basketball coach. Herman, who most recently had been the Head JV Basketball Coach and Varsity Assistant at Fordham Prep will take over at the start of the 2013-2014 season. He succeeds Tim Philp who recently stepped down after ten years.
“Stepinac is very pleased with its selection of Mr. Herman as the next coach,” said Stepinac President Father Thomas Collins. “His energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of the game was what led us to our final decision.”
Over a two week time period, the search committee comprised of school faculty members including Father Collins; Kevin Keane, Board of Trustees Treasurer; Principal Paul Carty; Michael O’Donnell, Athletic Director; Keith Richardson, Assistant Director of Athletics and Paul Thomas, Advancement Director, reviewed over 50 resumes and chose eight candidates to interview. Four individuals were brought back for a second interview, where Herman was ultimately chosen.
“The final four candidates were very qualified and it made our decision extremely difficult,” continued Father Collins. “In the end, we all believe that we made the right choice for Stepinac and the future of our varsity basketball program.”
This is not Herman’s first experience with Stepinac. From 1991-1994, he was the JV basketball coach and each year, Herman helped advance the Stepinac team to the CHSAA semifinals.
Coach Herman will be Stepinac’s 11th varsity basketball coach. Others include Nat Volpe, Tom Carney, Larry Dick, Gene Slattery, Gene Doris, Frank Henderson, Ed Sands, Dennis Gallagher, Tim McGrath and Tim Philp.
Herman is a graduate of Holy Cross College, where he played basketball under legendary Coach George Blaney. Herman is also a Fordham Prep graduate, where he became the school’s 4th leading all-time scorer.