New Hofstra Hoops Coach Busted on DWI Charge

Hofstra coach suspended without pay before even coaching a game

The new coach of the Hofstra Pride basketball team was asleep at the wheel -- literally, according to Nassau Cops who picked him on DWI charges.

Former Providence and Iona coach and ESPN broadcaster Tim Welsh, announced as Hofstra's new men's basketball coach last month, has been suspended by the university without pay before even coaching his first game following his arrest early Friday morning on DWI charges, according to Nassau County police.

Welsh, 49, was pulled over in Levittown at about 1 a.m. Friday after officers on patrol observed him at the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike and N. Bellmore Road stopped inside his 2006 Lexus although the light was green.

"A canine officer on patrol finds the subject asleep at a steady traffic light, " Nassau Det. Lt. Kevin Smith told NBCNewYork. "The officer pulls up, sees that he is asleep, his foot on the brake and his car in drive."

After a field investigation, in which Welsh smelled of alcohol and was swaying, he was charged with driving while intoxicated, Smith said.  He faces arraignment in a court in Hempstead today.

The college apparently only found out about the situation from media reports.

"We have learned through media reports of the charges against Mr. Welsh," university officials said in a statement. "Effective immediately, he has been suspended without pay, while the University investigates the charges against him." 

Welsh replaces Tom Pecora who left the Long Island school to coach at Fordham University.  Pecora replaced Jay Wright, who raised the profile of the school before moving on to coach Villanova University. Welsh spent 10 seasons at Providence, leading the Friars to the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2004. His record was 160-143. 

At Iona, his record was 70-22, with one NCAA and two NIT appearances.  Welsh spent the last two years in the broadcast booth for ESPN.

When he was named coach last month, Welsh said he was looking forward to returning to coaching in his home state.

"It's great to be back, up on the horse, off and and running," Welsh told FanHouse. "It's a great situation -- they've always had good tradition here -- a good fit for me. I know the area. It's an easy transition for me to make and I am looking forward to the challenge."

A message was left with an attorney for Welsh.

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