Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Siena's Buonaguro Near Longevity Mark

One of the all-time "good guys" who works a MAAC school sidelines is Siena assistant coach Mitch Buonaguro, who is about to reach a milestone for longevity as a coach on the college level.

When Siena plays at Rider on Saturday (Feb. 7), Buonaguro will coach his 1,000th Division I basketball game.

It is a testimonony to longevity, but also survival in what is an unstable profession.

One does not last as long as Buonaguro without being good at doing what he does, and the Siena assistant is one of the best.

Buonaguro is now in his 34th season as a college coach, nine of those in the MAAC.

Veteran fans will recall that his only position as a head coach, to date, was a six-yer stretch at Fairfield (1985-86 through 1990-91). He went there immediately after serving as an assistant coach on Villanova's national championship team of 1985.

His first two seasons at Fairfield resulted in two (1986, 1987) of that program's three trips to the NCAA tournament (the other was 1997). Buonaguro was named the MAAC's Coach of the Year after his first season there in 1986.

Buonaguro, now 55, worked as a graudate assistant (1975-77) for two seasons at his alma mater, Boston College, prior to joining Rollie Massamino's staff at Villanova.

After he was fired at Fairfield after a 33-80 record over his last four seasons there. Overall, he has a 73-103 record as a head coach, and his team's 24-7 record in his first year at Fairfield is still the best in that program's Division I history. Since his depature from that school, Fairfield has finished with a winning record just three times in the past 16 years.

Buonaguro then landed as an assistant at Texas A & M (1991-96), as an assistant at Cleveland State (1996-03) and, then, began working for current Siena coach Fran McCaffery, first at UNC-Greensboro (2003-05) and, now with the Saints since the 2005-06 season.

Although his work is behind-the-scenes, Buonaguro is well known in theh Siena community as personable representative of the program who enjoys talking basketball to anyone he encounters.

A great profile of Buonaguro appears in the Feb. 4 edition of the Times Union, written by Pete Iorizzo, who is (in the humble blogger's opinion) the best writer/reporter coving the MAAC.

Herre's a link to Pete's story on Buonaguro ...

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