Written by Chris Pendleton
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Southern Virginia University Acting President Richard G. Whitehead and President-elect Paul K. Sybrowsky today announced that Tony Caputo has been named head men's basketball coach.
"For more than a decade, Tony has been an important part of Southern Virginia athletics and our men's basketball program," said Acting President Whitehead. "He is a proven leader, recruiter and winner and we are confident that men's basketball will continue to build its tradition of success under Tony's guidance."
Caputo has served as the primary assistant for Southern Virginia men's basketball for a combined 12 seasons under three different head coaches. For the past four seasons, he assisted Brian Pendleton as men's basketball enjoyed its best stretch ever stringing together four consecutive winning seasons.
Southern Virginia men's basketball had never finished above .500 prior to the 2008-09 season when Pendleton became head coach and Caputo re-joined the program as head assistant after a two-year absence while he served as the university's dean of admissions.
Two seasons ago, Pendleton and Caputo guided the Knights to both their best overall record (24-8; .750) and first USCAA men's basketball national championship.
This past season, he served as interim head coach while Southern Virginia competed in its fourth straight national tournament—the longest steak of postseason appearances in the program's 14-year history.
"I'm very excited," said Caputo. "I've always enjoyed being an assistant coach, but there comes a time that you want to try your hand at being a head coach and this is my time so I'm looking forward to it."
This will not be Caputo's first experience at the helm of a collegiate program. He also is Southern Virginia's head men's soccer coach and head men's tennis coach and is the all-time winningest coach for both programs.
Caputo coached Southern Virginia men's soccer from 1998-01 and helped the program to its only two national championships (2000, 2001). He began his second stint has head men's soccer coach this past fall and guided the program to its most wins (9-6-3) since 2003.
Men's tennis has also thrived since Caputo became the team's head coach in 2008.
Two seasons ago, Caputo guided men's tennis to its first winning season (12-5). This past year, the Knights went 15-1 and finished with not only the best record in the program's six-year history, but the best single-season winning percentage (.938) of any athletic team in Southern Virginia's 16-year history.
Prior to his time at Southern Virginia, Caputo coached for 14 years at the high-school level and served as an assistant on three different teams that finished runner-up in the Utah boy's basketball state tournament.
"I got into education to work with and help quality young people," said Caputo. "That's what I've been doing and I look forward to this opportunity that allows me to continue doing what I love."