Bronx born John Thurston enters his third season on Cathy Andruzzi staff and his 38th overall on the sidelines. He is one of only a handful of coaches who has been a Head Coach at the NCAA DI, DII, DIII and NAIA levels in 26 years of coaching men's college basketball from 1971-1997. After four years on the high school level he returned collegiate coaching in the fall of 2003 on Ann Hancock's UNC-Wilmington staff and has been involved with the women's game for seven years on both the major and small college levels.
"I am excited to have John with our basketball family," notes Andruzzi. "John has over 35 years experience as a teacher, coach and administrator. He is an outstanding basketball technician who will be a valuable asset to the growth of our student athletes and program. He is a New Yorker with a strong work ethic and a competitive drive. He will promote the goals I have established for our women's basketball program."
Thurston has gained respect through the years as an evaluator and developer of talent. Former recruits include two whom have spent several years in the NBA, six overall NBA draft choices, seven European professionals, four "Rookies of the Year", three "Players of the Year", one "Defensive Player of the Year", eighteen All-Conference selections, three 2000 pt. scorers and eight 1000 pt scorers.
During the early 1970's, Thurston's Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham teams were known for their high scoring offense, averaging almost 100 points per game. During the following ten years as an assistant and three as Head Coach at James Madison University, the Dukes went to four NCAA tournaments and one NIT. For his tremendous efforts in the 1986-87 season, Thurston was named the Colonial Athletic Association "Coach of the Year." In nine years at Wingate University he served the dual role of Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach and is credited with moving the athletic department from NAIA status to nationally competitive NCAA DII affiliation.
Thurston came to Fordham from Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Fla. At Northwood he developed the schools first ever women's basketball program. In their first two seasons of competition, the Seahawks, with twelve freshmen won back to back conference championships and had an appearance at the NAIA National Championships in Sioux City, Iowa. Thurston was named Florida Sun Conference "Coach of the Year" in 2008. In two years his recruits garnered two "Player's of the Year," one "Rookie of the Year" and six All-Conference awards.
From 2001-2003 Thurston held the position of General Manager at Atlanta's Suwanee Sports Academy establishing widely respected basketball training programs and bringing national events such as the adidas Showtime Championships and adidas Top Ten All-Star game to the Atlanta area.
A 1966 graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School he was an All-City performer in both baseball and basketball and was a 1966 draft choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He continued his education at Seton Hall University where he played both baseball and basketball and was awarded the John F Kennedy Award in 1970 for the school's outstanding student-athlete. He and his wife, Candice, have been married for 39 years and have two daughters and two grandchildren.