Jack Perri reacts during a game with LIU Post (Steven Ryan via Newsday).

The Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Department of Athletics announced in early June that Jack Perri will replace Stan Spirou as the head men’s basketball coach beginning winter 2018.

Perri is just the sixth head coach of SNHU basketball in program history. He replaces the legendary Spirou, who coached the Penmen for 33 years and won 640 games.

Although those are big shoes to fill, Perri is confident the Penmen will succeed under his leadership.

“(Spirou) had great success here,” Perri said. “Everyone can do an impression of him or have a story about him. I’m not that and I don’t plan to be. I’m Jack Perri and I’m going to be the best I can be.”

Perri plans to implement his unique coaching strategy to an already talented roster that Spirou finalized last year. He plans to enforce playing hard and playing selfish and encourages his team to exude confidence. He said he will also use discipline and toughness to shape them.

“The way I run my program is different from the way Stan ran his program,” Perri said. “I feel like I’m a teacher. Basketball for these boys is like their second education, so I need to shape them in a way that will produce good results on the court.

“I want to create a program the people of Manchester can be proud of,” he continued. “Obviously, Stan has set a high standard for that and I just want to continue that success. I love coaching and I wanted a program I can have as my own. I would [like] to build relationships with these kids and really have an impact on their lives.”

Perri brings 20 years of coaching experience across all three NCAA divisions to SNHU. He entered the coaching profession immediately after college when he grabbed an assistant coach position at his alma mater, Bentley University, an NE10 school, where he played basketball as a student-athlete for five years. He spent six years coaching the Falcons before traveling to Rhode Island College (RIC) for a year to take on a head coach position.

Perri’s career then brought him to LIU Brooklyn, a DI institution, where he coached for 12 years. He spent his first seven years as an assistant coach and the remaining five years as head coach. While at the helm, Perri and the Blackbirds won 77 games and earned four Northeast conference tournament berths. Perri impressed in his first season at LIU, going 20-14, en route to guiding the Blackbirds to their third straight NEC title and appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In his last season in 2016-17, Perri produced a record of 20-12 and finished second in the league.

Perri left LIU the following year to coach at Boston University (BU) for one year.

In 14 seasons as an assistant coach, Perri’s teams went a combined 240-181 (.570), winning three conference championships and making three NCAA Tournament appearances. In his last two years as the associate head coach at LIU Brooklyn, the team went a combined 52-15, capturing the first two of an unprecedented three straight NEC Championships and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament.

As a head coach, Perri won nearly 100 games in six seasons, including a pair of 20-win campaigns, advancing to an NCAA Tournament, capturing both a tournament and regular-season conference title and collecting a pair of Coach of the Year awards.

Perri began his stretch with SNHU over the summer and has begun official practices with the Penmen.

“I’m excited for this season,” Perri said. “We have a great group of guys and I think all my experience will help shape them into the best players they can be.”

Cheer on Perri in his Penmen game debut when he and the Penmen take on the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) on Saturday, November 10 at 4pm at the Stan Spirou Fieldhouse.

Catherine Lachance
Catherine is a junior at SNHU majoring in communications. She is in her second year as the Sports Editor for the Press and is also a member of club tennis.