By Julian Bell
Coach Greg Herenda knows something about winning.
“There’s a line in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ that says if ‘you’re rich, people think you really know,’ and it’s the same thing,” Herenda said. “If you’re winning, people listen because they think you know what you’re talking about.”
Herenda brings a winning attitude to his radio show on WFDU 89.1 every Sunday.
“I go over there and tape once a week, and I go into a different world,” Herenda said. “We can either win a game or lose a game, or have a bad practice, but when I go into the studio to tape the show and we put the music on with it and the guests come on, I love doing it, and I never thought that would happen. I never thought I’d have a radio show.”
Herenda’a guest list isn’t limited to college basketball.
“I’ve had NBA players, NBA announcers, John Sterling the Yankee announcer who I worked with, John Calipari whose won national championships,” Herenda said. “I think it just alerts them today that Fairleigh Dickinson’s got a radio show and a basketball program.”
Herenda said that he never planned on having his own radio show at FDU because coaching basketball was his occupation and winning was his obligation. It was only after a few of his colleagues urged him to be one of the voices of FDU that the former UMass Lowell head coach accepted the position, one he now views as a privilege.
“It’s amazing how when I go out to speak, that people listen,” Herenda said. “I don’t know if they get up on Sunday mornings and listen or if they listen to the archive version, but I think it shows how connected FDU is to the rest of the world.”
Herenda’s fourth season as the Knights head coach also marks the fourth year that “The Greg Herenda Show” has been on air.
Herenda has coached his way through the season leading his team past formidable opponents such as Central Connecticut State and St. Francis College Brooklyn, two teams that the Knights managed to sweep. But Herenda said that his team’s performance isn’t all that matters. Herenda said that he’s careful to make the show about his guests.
“It’s funny because we rarely talk about Fairleigh Dickinson basketball,” Herenda said. “It’s more about the guests and what’s going on in the world and then I’ll intertwine our seasons, but it’s not a propaganda show.”
The invitation to host a radio show took Herenda completely by surprise when he came to FDU.
“It’s a great university so I think it’s a great extension for the university to reach out to the world, Herenda said, “and conversely for the world to understand that FDU is relevant and highly successful.”
The radio show would be a convenient platform to gain publicity for the men’s basketball team, but as Herenda made perfectly clear, there is a wider world to be explored outside the confines of his team’s performance.
“Sean Morrison, our associate athletic director asked me to do a radio show and I’m like, ‘What? Me? Why?’” Herenda said. “And he said, ‘Greg we want you to be the voice of FDU.’” Athletic Director Dave Langford joined Morrison in pitching the show to Herenda.
“They thought it would be a good opportunity for me to sell myself and our basketball program,” Herenda said. “As it turns out, it sells the university more than anyone. At first, I just didn’t think I could do it and now I love it.”