Episode #141: Q&A with Coach Andy Toole, Head Coach of Robert Morris University’s Men’s Basketball

By March 19, 2017Blog, Leadership, Podcast

In this episode of the L3 Leadership podcast, you’ll get to hear our Q&A session with Coach Andy Toole, Head Coach of Robert Morris University Men’s Basketball Team.

Here were a list of the questions that our members asked Andy:

  1. How do you deal with the criticism that comes from being a coach?
  2. How do you maintain a sense of identity regardless of whether or not you ever win a championship?
  3. Who are the coaches that have shaped you?
  4. What was it like coaching against Duke and Kentucky?
  5. What are your go to resources for motivation?
  6. How do you motivate people who don’t want it as bad as you do?
  7. How do you discern good advice from bad advice?
  8. What is the difference between being an assistant and a head coach? What advice do you have for people in assistant roles at this point in their career? What should they know?
  9. How do you help people recognize the difference between success and significance?
  10. How can we serve you and Robert Morris University?

L3 Leadership Podcast Episode #141: Q&A with Coach Andy Toole, Head Coach of Robert Morris University’s Men’s Basketball

Episode #141: Q&A with Coach Andy Toole, Head Coach of Robert Morris University’s Men’s Basketball

Connect with Andy Toole:

Listen to Andy’s Talk from our L3 Leadership Breakfast:

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Listen to our Interview with Coach Toole from Episode #114:

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Coach Andy Tool’s Bio:

Presiding over the golden age of Robert Morris University men’s basketball is Andrew Toole, who is in his seventh season as the head coach of the Colonials in 2016-17.

Introduced as the eighth head coach in the program’s 40-year Division I history at a press conference at the Charles L. Sewall Center May 11, 2010, Toole signed a two-year contract extension at RMU April 15, 2015, and will lead the Colonials through the 2019-20 campaign. In six seasons under Toole’s tutelage, the Colonials have posted an overall record of 120-87 (.580), including a mark of 73-33 (.689) against Northeast Conference opponents.

Toole has overseen the most successful stretch in school history during his nine-year tenure at Robert Morris. Named an assistant coach under former head coach Mike Rice in 2007, Toole was elevated to associate head coach the following season before taking over the reigns as head coach in 2010.

During Toole’s six seasons as head coach at RMU, the Colonials have claimed two NEC regular-season championships (2013, 2014), appeared in four NEC Tournament championship games (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) and have made four national postseason appearances. Robert Morris played in its first CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2012, earned automatic bids to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in both 2013 and 2014 and appeared in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Four of RMU’s five victories in a national postseason tournament have come under Toole. In 2011-12, his second year as head coach, Toole led the Colonials to an overall record of 26-11 (.703). Robert Morris tied a school record for victories by advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2012 CIT thanks to road wins over Indiana State (3/13/12) and Toledo (3/17/12).

In 2012-13, RMU claimed its 10th NEC regular-season championship with a ledger of 14-4 (.778) in conference action and overall finished 24-11 (.686). Robert Morris earned a spot in the 2013 NIT, advancing to the second round thanks to a landmark 59-57 victory over Kentucky (3/19/13) in front of 3,444 fans at the Charles L. Sewall Center, the largest crowd in school history.

RMU earned its second straight NEC regular-season crown in 2013-14 with a record of 14-2 (.875) in league play and finished 22-14 (.611) overall. For his efforts, Toole was named the 2014 NEC Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. Led by a career-high 38 points from 2014 NEC Player of the Year Karvel Anderson (2012-14), the Colonials notched a win in the first round of the NIT for the second consecutive year with an 89-78 victory at St. John’s (3/18/14). In the history of the NIT, a No. 8 seed has knocked off a No. 1 seed just four times, with Robert Morris owning two of those victories thanks to its wins over Kentucky and St. John’s.

Toole guided Robert Morris to an overall record of 20-15 (.571) in 2014-15, including a mark of 12-6 (.667) in the NEC. The Colonials finished in a tie for second place with Bryant in the league standings and as the No. 2 seed claimed the 2015 NEC Tournament title with a 66-63 win at No. 1 seed St. Francis Brooklyn (3/10/15). The win over the Terriers helped RMU secure its league-high eighth NEC Tournament title and subsequent bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Robert Morris earned its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1983 and second overall in program history by posting an 81-77 victory over North Florida (3/18/15) as part of the 2015 NCAA First Four at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Two days later the Colonials fell to eventual 2015 national champion Duke (3/20/15), 85-56, in Charlotte, N.C.

In his first season at the helm in 2010-11, Toole guided RMU to an overall record of 18-14 (.563), including a mark of 12-6 (.667) in the NEC. The Colonials advanced to the championship game of the NEC Tournament, falling three minutes shy of earning their third straight title before falling in overtime at LIU Brooklyn (3/9/11), 85-82.

Since the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Robert Morris owns an overall record of 193-118 (.621). RMU’s 193 wins over the nine-year period is tied with Valparaiso for 13th among mid-major programs during that stretch.

While RMU’s overall success is apparent, the program’s accomplishments in the NEC are also clear.

Over the last nine years, the Colonials have posted a mark of 119-41 (.744) against league opposition. Robert Morris won outright NEC regular-season titles in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014 and shared the championship in 2010 with Quinnipiac.

In 2008, the Colonials made their first appearance in the NIT, dropping an 87-81 decision to No. 1 overall seed Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. In both 2009 and 2010, RMU earned automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament thanks to winning its sixth and seventh NEC Tournament championships, respectively.


  • Mastermind Groups – We have weekly webinars about Mastermind groups every Tuesday night from 9 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. .  E-mail Doug at dougsmith@l3leadership.org if you are interested.


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