Kyle Neptune Steps Down as Head Coach of Fordham Men’s Basketball


Kyle Neptune is now the head coach of the Villanova Wildcats after one year at Fordham. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Kyle Neptune era at Fordham is officially over after just a single season. On Wednesday evening, Neptune announced he was stepping down as head coach of Fordham Men’s Basketball to become head coach at Villanova University. Neptune, who previously served as an assistant coach at Villanova for eight years, replaces legendary head coach Jay Wright following his retirement.

In March 2021, after six disappointing seasons under Jeff Neubauer, Neptune was hired by Fordham to lead the program into the future. As a young coach with a fantastic reputation, Neptune’s hiring pointed towards the beginning of a new age for Fordham Men’s Basketball that promised improvement and success.

That’s exactly what occurred, as Fordham’s lone season under Neptune was a memorable one. The Rams finished 16-16 overall and 8-10 in Atlantic 10 play, with both marks representing important milestones for the program. The 16 overall wins were the second most in 15 years for Fordham, while the eight conference wins were the most in that same time frame. In addition, the Rams reached the quarterfinals of the A-10 tournament for the first time since 2007.

Perhaps more importantly, this past season represented something the Rams could build off of moving forward. With graduate student Darius Quisenberry set to return and a talented recruiting class entering the fold, the future looked bright for Fordham Men’s Basketball. Additionally, this year’s transfer portal looks to be one of the most talented in recent memory thanks to the additional eligibility induced by the pandemic. Now, with Fordham’s main attraction in Neptune gone, more uncertainty looms over the program. 

The Rams haven’t appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 30 years and have had just one winning season in the last decade. After this most recent season, Fordham fans had reason to believe that statistics like these would soon be a thing of the past. But, in a flash, the heightened optimism that Neptune brought to the program has almost completely disappeared.

Neptune takes over a Villanova team fresh off a Big East tournament championship and a Final Four appearance. Upon hiring Neptune, Villanova Athletic Director Mark Jackson emphasized his recruiting ability and personability.

“When looking for a successor, we wanted a candidate who could navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and keep Villanova in a position of strength — now and in the future,” said Jackson in a statement. “After meeting with several exceptional candidates, we found all those attributes and more in Kyle Neptune. Kyle quickly stood out for his basketball knowledge, recruiting savvy and natural ability to connect with student-athletes and coaches.”

In the immediate future for the Rams, associate head coach Keith Urgo will serve as interim head coach while the nationwide search for a permanent replacement for Neptune gets underway.