Troy basketball head coach Don Maestri announces retirement

Published 8:34 am Sunday, March 10, 2013

Troy mens' basketball head coach Don Maestri coaches the team in a game this season. (Photo/Troy University)

Troy mens’ basketball head coach Don Maestri coaches the team in a game this season. (Photo/Troy University)

After 31 seasons on the bench as the Troy University basketball head coach, Don Maestri is calling it a career.

Maestri, who won his 500th game on Friday, has become an iconic figure for Troy’s athletic program. A member of the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame, the court in the new Trojan arena was named in his honor this season.

Maestri came to Troy in 1982 after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Alabama and led the Trojans to unprecedented success on the hardwood. Under his leadership, Troy won conference titles in four different leagues, had four players named conference Player of the Year and were NCAA scoring champions three times (1991, 1992, 1996). 39 players were named All-Conference n Maestri, five were named All-Americans. Maestri was named Coach of the Year in five different conferences, most recently in 2009.

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“I always knew there was going to be a time when I would need to make a change in my life and now is that time,” Maestri said in a statement released by the university following his announcement. “I want to thank all of my former players, coaches and everyone associated with Troy University that helped us accomplish some very special moments during my time at Troy. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a career and I am thankful for that blessing.”

Maestri won 20 games eight times in his career at Troy, leading the Trojans to two NIT tournament appearances and an NCAA berth in 2003.

At the Division II level, the Trojans were solid as well. Troy played in two NCAA Division II Elite 8 tournaments and fell in the championship game in the 1992-93 season. The Trojans averaged 23 wins over the programs final six seasons as a Division II member.

“It’s hard to express what Don Maestri has meant not only to the Troy men’s basketball program, but also to the entire University,” Troy Athletics Director John Hartwell said in the statement. “Don has been a great ambassador for Troy University for 31 years and his legacy will be much more than what his teams accomplished on the basketball floor. Don’s work off the court with the development of his players as men is admirable and I want to thank Don for his service and dedication to Troy University. His name and all that he accomplished at Troy University will carry forward on “Court Maestri” in Trojan Arena.”

Troy opened the new $40 million state-of-the-art facility this season, replacing Sartain Hall where the Trojans called home since 1962.

It has been a remarkable journey for the Troy basketball program under Maestri.

“Don Maestri has built a hall of fame coaching career at Troy University,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University said in the statement. “He not only took us to the top of Division II by reaching the championship game in 1993, Coach Maestri also led our program through a successful transition to Division I, the highest level of NCAA competition. But what I will always appreciate most about Don Maestri is he is a gentleman who always represents Troy University with class and dignity. Trojan fans everywhere owe Don Maestri a huge debt for his outstanding leadership of our basketball program for the past 31 years.”

Maestri walks away with a 500-404 career record.