Tartamella Inks Contract Extension at St. Johns

St. John’s Director of Athletics Mike Cragg announced on Monday that Head Women’s Basketball Coach Joe Tartamella has agreed to a contract extension through the 2023-24 season.

“My family and I are thrilled to agree to a contract extension with the St. John’s women’s basketball program through the 2023-24 season,” Tartamella said. “The Red Storm community and the women’s basketball team in its entirety have served as my home for the better part of 16 years and I could not be more proud of serving as this program’s head coach. My family and I want to thank the board of trustees, President Gempesaw and our Director of Athletics Mike Cragg as well as our athletics administration, the women’s basketball staff and the entire University for their endless support.”

Tartamella is currently in his seventh season at the helm of the St. John’s women’s basketball program and has led the Red Storm to six-straight postseason appearances. The pinnacle moment of his career came in 2016 when he guided the Johnnies to their fourth BIG EAST title in program history and first in nearly three decades.

Tartamella’s 130 (130-72) wins to date, rank him third overall on the all-time win list. Over his time as head coach of the St. John’s women’s basketball program, Tartamella has mentored three BIG EAST major award winners in Defensive Players of the Year Aliyyah Handford and Aaliyah Lewis as well as BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Qadashah Hoppie. Additionally, Tartamella has had 17 players named to BIG EAST All-Conference Teams. Adding on to Tartamella’ s list of award-winning athletes, he has coached four WNBA draft picks in Handford, Shenneika Smith, Nadirah McKenith and Danaejah Grant. McKenith and Smith became the first two players in program history taken in the WNBA Draft.

“It is very clear to me that Joe’s leadership, love for the University, and his care for our student-athletes are what has sustained his many accomplishments on and off the court,” Cragg said.  “This is a great day for St. John’s and it is one that we will all benefit from for many years to come.  While there is a very high expectation for our teams to perform on the court – that same expectancy resonates in the classroom and in community service by our student-athletes. Coach T has done a tremendous job ensuring that each one of his athletes performs on a high level in all of these categories. Our whole athletics family looks forward to working together for many more years to come and I am personally excited and committed in helping build with Joe an even brighter future for the St. John’s women’s basketball program.”

Tartamella, has been a fundamental part of the St. John’s women’s basketball program’s success over the last six seasons and beyond. Beginning his career with St. John’s as a graduate assistant during the 2002-03 campaign before his hard work and endless dedication earned him a spot as head coach. During his overall 16 seasons with the program, Tartamella has been a part of seven NCAA Tournament berths and 11 postseason appearances as well as team’s first-ever trip to the Sweet 16 in 2012.

As a head coach, Tartamella has taken the Red Storm to the NCAA Tournament in three of his six years and has never missed a postseason. During his most recent campaign, Tartamella led St. John’s to the quarterfinal round of the WNIT for the first time in program history.

As a result of his success during the 2017-18 regular season, three of Tartamella’s athletes garnered accolades by the BIG EAST, as Hoppie was named the league’s Freshman of The Year, the first freshman to earn the award for the Johnnies since Da’Shena Stevens, in 2008-09 season. Hoppie and Tiana England both earned unanimous selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team, while Maya Singleton was tabbed to the All-BIG EAST Second Team.

Tartamella has helped bring some of the greatest players in program history to Queens, including McKenith, Smith and Amber Thompson as well as Singleton, the Red Storm’s single-season leader in rebounding. His most recent recruit is Preseason Freshman of the Year selection Kadaja Bailey.

Tartamella and the Red Storm are 2-0 to open up the 2018-19 season with victories over Iona and Army. The Johnnies will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. when the team travels to the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam. The Johnnies will kick off play against Purdue before facing No. 2 ranked UConn on Friday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. St. John’s will then wrap up play on Saturday, Nov. 24 against Ole Miss at 5:30 p.m. FloHoops.com will provide a live stream of all the games during the Paradise Jam.


Photo Courtesy St. John’s Athletics

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