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With Milestone Victory, Jonathan Halpert Joins Elite Group of NYC Basketball Coaches

Yeshiva University’s Dr. Jonathan Halpert became just the seventh men’s basketball coach in New York City history to record his 400th career victory on Thursday night, December 6 at the Max Stern Athletic Center—on the same court dedicated less than one year ago in his honor. The YU Maccabees defeated visiting Skyline Conference opponent Maritime (N.Y.) College 72-50, notching their second win of the early season.

YU received an 18-point, eight-assist effort from senior Gil Bash (Tel Aviv, Israel), as the Maccabees shot 64 percent from the floor. Junior Shlomo Wiissberg (Skokie, Ill.) shot 7-for-9 from the field en route to a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double, while senior Dovie Hoffman (Tarzana, Calif.) and junior Benjy Ritholtz (W. Hempstead, N.Y.) poured in 12 and 11 points, respectively.

With 400 wins, Halpert joins a select group of New York City men’s college basketball coaches who have reached this milestone: Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s (526 victories); Howard Cann, New York University (429); Joe Nesci, New York University (424); Nat Holman, City College of New York (423); Ray Rankis, Baruch (419); and Claire Bee, Rider/LIU Brooklyn (412).

“I have always believed that a true measure of success is consistency,” said Halpert. “Four hundred wins means a lot to me, because despite the constraints of Yeshiva’s dual academic curriculum, I have been able to give countless young men the opportunity to compete and win.”

A former Maccabee point guard, Halpert is a graduate of Yeshiva University High School for Boys, Yeshiva College and Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He took over the Maccabees roster in 1972 and is the longest tenured men’s basketball coach in New York City history.

Coach Jonathan Halpert seated with his wife, Aviva, celebrate 400 victories.

“For four decades, Coach Halpert has imbued the Macs and the entire Yeshiva community with the values of sportsmanship, teamwork and Jewish pride,” said Yeshiva University President Richard M. Joel. “He has taught our players so much more than how to win and how to play the game of basketball the right way—he has taught them how to live their lives.”

Halpert has received a pair of Skyline Conference Coach of the Year awards (1999-00, 2009-10), as well as the National Association of Basketball Coaches “Guardians of the Game” honor in 2003-04. The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association bestowed him with its “Good Guy” award in 1997-98 and he led YU to a pair of College Basketball Officials Association Sportsmanship Awards in 1979-80 and 1996-97. During his illustrious career, Halpert has coached over 300 student-athletes, as well as a trio of father-son tandems, including his own son, Rafi, who is in his first season as an assistant coach for his father at YU.