Newberry College athletics director Brad Edwards introduced Steve DeMeo as the College’s 23rd head men’s basketball coach in a press conference on campus Wednesday. Recognized as one of the top assistant coaches in Division I, DeMeo was an assistant coach at Central Florida after serving as associate head coach at Providence.”I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get to know everyone here in the Newberry community,” DeMeo said. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to build Newberry basketball into a national level program.”
One of the nation’s premier recruiters, DeMeo helped UCF post several key victories in 2008-09, including an impressive win at New Mexico. He worked closely with 2008-09 Conference USA Player of the Year Jermaine Taylor, helping the senior guard rank third nationally in scoring (26.2) and receive Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention honors. Taylor also received all-district recognition from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the United States Basketball Writers Association.
DeMeo also mentored C-USA All-Freshman Team selection A.J. Rompza. UCF was one of the top free-throw shooting teams in the country during the year, connecting on 74.7 percent of its attempts from the free-throw line.
“We are ecstatic to have attracted one of Division I’s top assistant coaches to Newberry College,” Edwards said. “Steve DeMeo brings a wealth of experience with him in recruiting and developing college basketball players and putting them in position to compete for championships. We are very excited about the future for men’s basketball at Newberry College with Steve DeMeo leading the way.”
During DeMeo’s time at Providence, the Friars participated in the postseason on five occasions, including a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament. DeMeo also helped Providence finish in the top three in the BIG EAST standings three times. He spent the last four years of his tenure as the Friars’ associate head coach.
After joining the Providence staff in 1998, DeMeo led the Friars’ recruiting efforts. He successfully recruited several future All-BIG EAST performers, including Ryan Gomes. Gomes garnered Associated Press First Team All-America honors in 2003-04 after averaging 18.9 points and 9.4 boards. Gomes was the first Friar since 1974 to earn All-America first-team honors and finished his career as the school’s career leader with 2,138 points. Gomes was selected in the 2005 NBA Draft by Boston.
A New York City native, DeMeo was recognized as one of the top-25 assistant coaches in the country by Rivals.com in 2007. Providence posted a pair of 20-victory campaigns during DeMeo’s tenure. The Friars spent nine weeks in 2003-04 in the national rankings and finished the year 20-9. During the season, Providence defeated several ranked teams, including No. 4 Connecticut and 14th-ranked Illinois. The squad was ranked as high as No. 12 nationally and appeared in the NCAA Tournament as a fifth seed.
Providence also participated in the 2001 NCAA Tournament as the Friars went 21-10 in 2000-01. DeMeo helped the Friars defeat two nationally-ranked foes – No. 12 Connecticut and No. 12 Georgetown. The Friars were selected to the postseason National Invitation Tournament three times during DeMeo’s tenure (1999, 2003, 2007). At the 2003 event, Providence won a pair of games and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals.
In DeMeo’s first year on the staff, Providence upset No. 8 Purdue and 18th-ranked Syracuse in 1998-99. Before moving to Providence, DeMeo served as an assistant at Iona for three years. With DeMeo on the staff, the Gaels won 70 contests and played in the postseason three times. Iona claimed Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season titles in 1995-96, 1996-97 and 1997-98.
The 1997-98 Gaels won a school-record 27 contests and played in the NCAA Tournament. Iona posted non-conference victories over BIG EAST squads Providence and Rutgers and won 15 MAAC games. In both 1996 and 1997, Iona participated in the postseason NIT. The 1995-96 squad won 21 contests. Iona recorded 22 victories the following season.
DeMeo coached nine All-MAAC performers during his time at Iona, including a pair of conference player of the year honorees (Kashif Hameed and Mindaugas Timinskas).
DeMeo has five years of head coaching experience at the junior college level. From 1993-95, he was the head coach at Monroe Junior College in the Bronx. In two seasons, he guided the Mustangs to a 53-8 record. DeMeo earned National Junior College Athletic Association Region XV Coach of the Year honors following both of his campaigns at Monroe. In 1994-95, DeMeo’s Monroe team led the nation in scoring, averaging 92.0 points per contest. The Mustangs finished the regular-season campaign as the top-ranked team in the country.
He also worked as the head coach at Bronx Community College (1990-93). In 1990-91, the Broncos claimed the City University of New York Athletic Conference Tournament title.
DeMeo served as an assistant at LIU-C.W. Post (1989-90) and Queensborough Community College (1988-89). He also worked with the Westchester franchise in the United States Basketball League during the 1994 season.
DeMeo is a 1987 graduate of Buffalo. He earned his bachelor’s degree in management.
Audio: Interview with Steve DeMeo (6:21)