March 15, 2023 — Here in the American Jesuit universe, we’re in two parallel holy seasons at the same time: Lent and March Madness. Nine Jesuit teams between the women’s and men’s tournaments are in the Big Dance this year, and you can read all about them on our website at Jesuits.org/basketball.
Today’s guest didn’t quite make it to the NCAA tournament this year, but he led one of the biggest success stories in all of college basketball this season. And this was his first year as a head coach at any level. Keith Urgo is the head coach of the Fordham Rams men’s team – and the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. Fordham put up a record of 25 wins and 8 losses this season; the last time Fordham won this many games in a season was all the way back in 1991.
Coach Urgo has deep Jesuit roots: He went to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC, then played basketball and lacrosse at Fairfield University. After college, he spent time working with a nonprofit organization called PeacePlayers, which uses basketball to bring people together in some of the most divided countries on Earth. He’s a fascinating guy and you’ll want to keep your eye on him in future years.
In the second half of the show, we’re re-running one of our favorite basketball segments we’ve ever done here on the show. A couple years ago, host Mike Jordan Laskey talked to the author John Gasaway, who writes on college hoops for ESPN and wrote a book on Catholic college basketball called “Miracles on the Hardwood.” At the end of that conversation, John and Mike took turns drafting the greatest men’s players in Jesuit basketball history, building fantasy teams who will only ever compete against each other in our imaginations.
AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.