Kull Names Associate Coach Keith Urgo Interim Head Coach After Neptune Departure

Following Kyle Neptune’s departure to Villanova, current and former players have voiced their support for Urgo



Keith Urgo, associate head coach of the men’s basketball team, has been chosen as the interim head coach while the university conducts a search for Neptune’s replacement.


After confirming the departure of Fordham men’s basketball Head Coach Kyle Neptune to Villanova University, Fordham Athletics announced in a statement Wednesday that men’s basketball Associate Head Coach Keith Urgo has been named the team’s interim head coach. 

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ed Kull said that Urgo will run the program while the university conducts “a national search” to find a permanent replacement.

Though Fordham Athletics claims that Urgo’s promotion is temporary following a sudden change in leadership, reactions to the news on social media suggest that demand for Urgo is high. A number of current and former men’s basketball players have taken to Twitter to defend the coach as a long-term option for Fordham. 

Chuba Ohams, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’23, was one of the first to come forward when he commented, “KEITH URGO is the man for the job,” shortly after congratulating Neptune. Another former player, Antonio Daye Jr., who withdrew from the university in January and now plays for Coastal Carolina University, echoed Ohams’ sentiments.

Current players Antrell Charlton and Kyle Rose, both Fordham College at Rose Hill ’24, have made similar statements defending Urgo as a suitable head coaching candidate. 

Beyond vocal support online, Urgo has the qualifications to make a strong case for a permanent position. Neptune’s top assistant last season began his collegiate coaching career in 2004 when he accepted a position as an assistant at Gonzaga University. He then joined the staff at Villanova, where he spent time as a video coordinator, an assistant coach and the director of basketball operations over the course of five years.

Before accepting a position at Fordham, he served on the coaching staff for the Penn State University men’s basketball team. From 2011 to 2020, Urgo played a pivotal role in the development and recruitment of many Nittany Lions. He was the associate head coach on the staff from 2013 until his departure and helped turn Penn State into a nationally ranked program. 

In one season with the Rams, Urgo has already displayed his prowess in the areas that brought him success in his previous roles. As Neptune’s top assistant, Urgo helped lead Fordham to its best overall record since the 2015-16 season. He also aided in the development of several transfer players who ended up being key players in Fordham’s rotation. 

Urgo stands out as an option that could provide consistency during the transition into the post-Neptune era.

In addition to developing players over the course of the successful 2021-22 campaign, Urgo has already demonstrated his talent for recruiting. Prior to the season, three former Penn State players transferred to Fordham. The Rams also have an exciting incoming class of recruits, assuming they are retained through the period of coaching tumult. The class is headlined by the program’s first four-star recruit in over a decade, Will Richardson. 

Fordham has struggled to find reliable coaching for the men’s basketball team for the majority of the program’s recent history. In that respect, Urgo stands out as an option that could provide consistency during the transition into the post-Neptune era. Additionally, the outspoken support from players illustrates the connections that Urgo has forged in his short time at Fordham as well as the belief that members of the program have in their coach’s ability. 

Fordham Athletics will surely lead a comprehensive search for Neptune’s permanent replacement, but it seems like current players believe that the program’s best option is also its most familiar. Urgo has earned nearly unanimous praise from players in public statements since last night and has a track record of success in a number of coaching areas. Players have voiced their support, but the pivotal decision on the future of Fordham men’s basketball is in the administration’s hands.