Bristol native Steve Pikiell, a standout basketball player, led St. Paul Catholic High School to conference titles in 1985 and 1986. The 1986 team was runner-up in the CIAC Class L State Tournament. Steve was All-City four times in his years at St. Paul’s. He also was a three-time All-State pick and MVP of the 1986 Class L Tournament.
He went on to play at UCONN where he became the only two-time captain. During his playing days at UCONN, the Huskies were NIT Champs in 1988, Big East Champs in 1990 and a final 8 team in the NCAA Tournament. The 1991 team reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.
While serving as an assistant coach at Central Connecticut (CCSU) and George Washington (GW) both teams won league titles in the NEC and A-10. Steve gained valuable coaching experience when, as an assistant coach at UCONN, CCSU and GW, those teams made it to the NCAA tournament.
While the head coach at Stony Brook University, Long Island, N.Y. Steve took his team to the NCAA tournament. His success earned him the head coaching position at Rutgers University.