Local News, Local Sports

SUNY Cortland Basketball Coach Tom Spanbauer to Retire



After 28 years of coaching, SUNY Cortland Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Spanbauer plans to retire. Spanbauer, though, plans to continue his work as the Women’s Tennis Head Coach. A job he has had since 2006. Spanbauer explains why he felt now was the right time to walk away.

“The time was right, I just turned 62 this past January. My daughters are getting into the age where they’re involved in more sports and having been here for 28 years it felt like it was the time to go.” Spanbauer said to X101.

His tenure at SUNY Cortland as the men’s basketball coach leaves a record of 459-277 (.624) from 1995-2023, a program career victories leader. Cortland has won three State University of New York Athletic Conference tournament titles under Spanbauer’s leadership (2000, 2013, 2016). It has also led to 6 NCAA Division III tournament titles. The Red Dragons have also been led to the NCAA “Sweet 16” and tied for ninth nationally in both 1999 and 2000 as well as advancing to the NCAA second round in 2006, 2013, and 2016. The schools first-ever NCAA tournament showing was also led by Spanbauer in 1997.

“Having graduated from Cortland, it was always a dream of mine to become the head men’s basketball coach at my alma mater,” Spanbauer said. “Living out this dream was made possible with all the support I received from all my professors, fellow students and, of course, my college basketball teammates who always encouraged me to go for it! My two coaches while I played at Cortland, Dr. Alan Stockholm and Dr. Bill Williams, were great mentors for me. They were both able to educate me on all the challenges and hurdles one might face when trying to become a college basketball coach, and I cannot thank them enough for the support they gave me along the way.”

Before coming to Cortland, Spanbauer was the head coach at Alfred State University for one year and an assistant coach for Alfred for 5 seasons. His 94’-95’ season posted a 12-13 record, the best the school had in 5 years.

“SUNY Cortland and Cortland Athletics are eternally grateful for the exceptional service Tom has provided over these past 28 years,” said Cortland Director of Athletics Mike Urtz.


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