Presiding over the golden age of Robert Morris University men’s basketball is Andrew Toole, who is in his ninth season as the head coach of the Colonials in 2018-19.
Introduced as the eighth head coach in the program’s 42-year Division I history at a press conference at the Charles L. Sewall Center May 11, 2010, Toole signed a one-year contract extension with RMU Jan. 19, 2017, and will lead the Colonials through the 2020-21 campaign. In eight seasons under Toole’s tutelage, the Colonials have posted an overall record of 150-123 (.549), including a mark of 91-51 (.641) against Northeast Conference opponents.
Toole has overseen the most successful stretch in school history during his 11-year tenure at Robert Morris. Named an assistant coach under former head coach Mike Rice in 2007, Toole was elevated to associate head coach the following season before taking over the reigns as head coach in 2010.
During Toole's eight seasons as head coach at RMU, the Colonials have claimed two NEC regular-season championships (2013, 2014), appeared in four NEC Tournament championship games (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) and have made four national postseason appearances. Robert Morris played in its first CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2012, earned automatic bids to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in both 2013 and 2014 and appeared in the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Four of RMU's five victories in a national postseason tournament have come under Toole. In 2011-12, his second year as head coach, Toole led the Colonials to an overall record of 26-11 (.703). Robert Morris tied a school record for victories by advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2012 CIT thanks to road wins over Indiana State and Toledo.
In 2012-13, RMU claimed its 10th NEC regular-season championship with a ledger of 14-4 (.778) in conference action and overall finished 24-11 (.686). Robert Morris earned a spot in the 2013 NIT, advancing to the second round thanks to a landmark 59-57 victory over Kentucky in front of 3,444 fans at the Charles L. Sewall Center, the largest crowd in school history.
RMU earned its second straight NEC regular-season crown in 2013-14 with a record of 14-2 (.875) in league play and finished 22-14 (.611) overall. For his efforts, Toole was named the 2014 NEC Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. Led by a career-high 38 points from 2014 NEC Player of the Year Karvel Anderson (2012-14), the Colonials notched a win in the first round of the NIT for the second consecutive year with an 89-78 victory at St. John's. In the history of the NIT, a No. 8 seed has knocked off a No. 1 seed just four times, with Robert Morris owning two of those victories thanks to its wins over Kentucky and St. John's.
Toole guided Robert Morris to an overall record of 20-15 (.571) in 2014-15, including a mark of 12-6 (.667) in the NEC. The Colonials finished in a tie for second place with Bryant in the league standings and as the No. 2 seed claimed the 2015 NEC Tournament title with a 66-63 win at No. 1 seed St. Francis Brooklyn (3/10/15). The win over the Terriers helped RMU secure its league-high eighth NEC Tournament title and subsequent bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Robert Morris earned its first NCAA Tournament victory since 1983 and second overall in program history by posting an 81-77 victory over North Florida as part of the 2015 NCAA First Four at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. Two days later the Colonials fell to eventual 2015 national champion Duke, 85-56, in Charlotte, N.C.
In his first season at the helm in 2010-11, Toole guided RMU to an overall record of 18-14 (.563), including a mark of 12-6 (.667) in the NEC. The Colonials advanced to the championship game of the NEC Tournament, falling three minutes shy of earning their third straight title before falling in overtime at LIU Brooklyn (3/9/11), 85-82.
While RMU's overall success is apparent, the program’s accomplishments in the NEC are also clear.
Over the last 11 years, the Colonials have posted a mark of 137-59 (.699) against league opposition. Robert Morris won outright NEC regular-season titles in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014 and shared the championship in 2010 with Quinnipiac. Overall in the last 11 seasons, RMU has posted a record of 223-154 (.592).
In 2008, the Colonials made their first appearance in the NIT, dropping an 87-81 decision to No. 1 overall seed Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. In both 2009 and 2010, RMU earned automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament thanks to winning its sixth and seventh NEC Tournament championships, respectively.
In the 2009 NCAA Tournament as a No. 15 seed, the Colonials fell to eventual national runner-up Michigan State, 77-62, in the first round at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. In the 2010 NCAA Tournament, Robert Morris nearly upset No. 2 seed Villanova in the first round at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., before falling, 73-70, in overtime.
Prior to coming to Robert Morris in 2007, Toole spent the 2006-07 season as an assistant at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
While an assistant with the Leopards, Toole assisted in all facets of the program, from recruiting to player development. He was responsible for helping recruit student-athletes that helped lead Lafayette to the 2010 Patriot League Tournament championship game against Lehigh.
Toole spent two years with The Hoop Group in Neptune, N.J., from 2004 to 2006. He served as the director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Clinic, where he handled logistical management for the nation's largest high school exposure camp.
Also during his time with The Hoop Group, Toole maintained relationships with elite high school and AAU coaches. Also in 2004, Toole served as the director of Rebounds, a 28,000-square foot facility where high school players focus on development.
Toole was a four-year starter at the Division I level, playing for Elon University (1998-2000) before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania (2000-03).
In two seasons with the Quakers, Toole helped guide Penn to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002 and 2003. A co-captain of the 2002-03 Penn team that finished with an overall record of 22-6 (.786), in two years as a starter Toole helped lead the Quakers to an overall record of 47-13 (.783).
During his two seasons at Penn, the Quakers posted a record of 7-1 in the Philadelphia Big 5, an informal association of college athletic programs in Philadelphia, Pa., that includes Penn, La Salle, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova. Penn finished 4-0 in 2001-02, and it’s only loss in 2002-03 came against Saint Joseph’s.
Over his four-year career at Elon and Penn, Toole averaged 12.3 points per contest, finishing with 1,341 points in 109 games. He also posted averages of 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals per contest.
In two seasons at Penn, Toole hit 104 three-pointers and on his career finished with 212. He was an All-Ivy League First Team selection in 2001-02, an All-Ivy League Second Team honoree in 2002-03 and was named to the All-Big 5 Team in both 2002 and 2003.
A member of the Friars Senior Society at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002-03, Toole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Penn in 2003.
Toole and his wife, Brooke, reside in the Pittsburgh, Pa., suburb of Mt. Lebanon, with their two sons, Ryan and Colin.