Joe Lombardi, a Western Pennsylvania product who hails from Sharon, is in his third season at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant basketball coach on Head Coach Jamie Dixon's staff. With a reputation for working with overachieving basketball programs, Lombardi owns 23 total years of coaching experience, 20 years of NCAA Division I basketball experience and a wealth of East Coast ties. Lombardi focuses his attention on recruiting, scouting opponents and player development.
Since Lombardi arrived at Pitt in 2003, the Panthers own a 51-14 record (.785 winning percentage) and have advanced to two NCAA Tournaments. In Lombardi's first season at Pittsburgh, the Panthers finished with a school-record 31-5 slate, captured the Big East regular season title and advanced to NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" play.
Prior to Pittsburgh, Lombardi served two seasons (2001-03) as an assistant coach at LaSalle University in Philadelphia under Bill Hahn. During his tenure with the Explorers he helped mold Rasual Butler, an All-NBA Rookie Team honorable mention selection with the Miami Heat, and helped build the foundation for a program that has been labeled as an up-and-coming team in the Atlantic 10.
"We are extremely excited to have Joe on staff here at Pittsburgh," Dixon said. "Everywhere he's been, that school has had its best season in school history. He has deep roots in Western Pennsylvania and has taken great pride in the success of our program."
Prior to his two-year stint at LaSalle, Lombardi spent nine years as an assistant and associate head coach at St. Bonaventure. Lombardi helped orchestrate a dramatic basketball revival at St. Bonaventure as the Bonnies went 21-10, advanced to the NCAA Tournament, set a school-record for conference wins (11) and reached the Atlantic 10 championship game in 1999-00. During his tenure at St. Bonaventure, Lombardi helped lead the Bonnies to three National Invitation Tournament appearances in 1995, 1998 and 2001. St. Bonaventure played at Pittsburgh in the 2000 NIT, an 84-75 Panthers win. While laying the foundation for St. Bonaventure's success, Lombardi played a key role in the recruitment of All-NBA Rookie team honorable mention selection J.R. Bremer (Cleveland Cavaliers).
As an assistant to current Rhode Island head coach Jim Baron at St. Francis (Pa.) from 1987-92, Lombardi played a major role in the Red Flash's success. During his tenure, St. Francis registered two of its best seasons in 20 years, including records of 17-10 in 1989-90 and 24-8 in 1990-91. The latter season marked a Northeast Conference championship and the school's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. He also played a key role in the development of Mike Iuzzolino, who was an NBA Draft pick by the Dallas Mavericks.
Lombardi served as an assistant coach at St. Francis from 1987-89 before being promoted to assistant head coach in 1989. He was involved in all aspects of the Red Flash program.
He began his basketball coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio University during the 1981-82 season where current Duquesne head coach Danny Nee gave him his first opportunity in coaching. He served a one-year stint at Youngstown State in 1982-83 as an assistant coach before being named a full-time assistant at Indiana University (Pa.), where he served from 1984-87.
Lombardi also has international experience as he was a member of the 1992 Pan American National Team coaching staff which participated in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament of the Americas against the United States' "Dream Team."
Lombardi is a 1981 honors graduate of Youngstown State University where he earned his degree in education. He was a four-time basketball letterwinner and two-year team captain from 1979-81. He played high school basketball at the former Kennedy Christian High School in Hermitage, Pa. Lombardi and his wife Janet, an Indiana, Pa. native, have three children: Dominic (16), Alyssa (14) and Dante (9).
"Since I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, I am especially proud of my association with the University of Pittsburgh and this excellent basketball program," Lombardi said. "There is a culture here that embodies hard work, unselfishness and excellence. Coach Dixon has done a terrific job of leading the program and we look forward to its future success."
THE JOE LOMBARDI FILE
Birthdate: November 7, 1959
Hometown: Sharon, Pa.
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree- Education, Youngstown State, 1981; Kennedy Christian High School, 1977.
Family: Wife, Janet, son Dominic (16), daughter Alyssa (14), son Dante (9).
Assistant Coach, University of Pittsburgh, 2003-current; Assistant Coach, LaSalle University, 2001-03; Associate Head Coach, St. Bonaventure University, 1996-2001; Assistant Coach, St. Bonaventure University, 1992-1996; Assistant Head Coach, St. Francis (Pa.) College, 1989-92; Assistant Coach, St. Francis (Pa.) College, 1987-89; Assistant Coach, Indiana University (Pa.), 1984-87; Restricted Earnings Coach, Youngstown State, 1982-83; Graduate Assistant Coach, Ohio University, 1981-82.
Youngstown State University, 1977-81 Four-time letterwinner; two-year captain from 1979-81.