I haven't actually met Vin Parise yet, but I greatly look forward to when that happens at some point this year. Hopefully, we'll both have a few hours of free time to spend chatting, because Vin is a true college basketball "junkie" and the chance to talk hoops with someone with his background, interests, connections, etc., is my idea of an ideal way to spend many hours.
The next best thing, of course, is reading Vin's on-line work at http://www.vphoops.com/, a blog that is pleasing in its visual presentation and even more pleasing for its content. Vin's on-line work concentrates primarily on eastern basketball including the MAAC. He also blogs extensively about the Big East, the Atlantic 10, and touches on the Colonial Athletic Association and America East. But, you'll also find Vin blogging about national programs and issues, too.
For our purposes, though, Vin does indeed blog much about the MAAC. And, he does so with an insiders' expertise and contacts built from working as an Iona assistant coach for four seasons under Jeff Ruland and one under current coach Kevin Willard. Prior to that Vin was an assistant at Rutgers and at Fairleigh Dickinson.
After the 2007-8 season at Iona, Parise opted for a career change and moved into the media side of college basketball.
He began his blog work last season and, recently, got what he refers to as some "huge breaks" over this past summer.
The include picking up some work as ,,,
- Radio color commentator for Iona men's games, splitting dutues there with Ed Ingles. There, Vin expects to do 15 or 16 games as "sidekick" to that program's outstanding play-by-play man Gary Stanley.
- TV color analyst work with "MSG Varsity," a new channel to be launched by Cablevision and MSG this basketball season. The station will broadcast high school sports in the Tri-State area four nights a week throughout the entire school year. Vin will do about 30 games, appearing alongside play-by-play guys Rich Ackerman and Carl Reauter.
- The pre-game host for Cox TV Sports in Rhode Island. There, Vin will do pre-game analysis for 20 games for contests featuring Providence and University of Rhode Island this season.
- A college basketball analyst for radio station WFAN, work which he began doing during the post season last year. This year he's on board with WFAN for spots over the entire season. His work will center on the Big East.
WHEW ... talk about being busy. But, it truly is a labor of love for Vin.
And, if his work on his blog ... and the the e-mail traffic that passes between us ... is any indication, then it's going to be quality stuff.
Vin isn't the only former MAAC coach to make a successful move to radio/TV work.
In recent years alone ... former Niagara men's coach Jack Armstrong currently does radio and TV work for the NBA Toronto Raptors.
Former Siena men's assistant Tim Capstraw, who was also a head coach at Wagner College after his Siena days, is currently the color commentator for the NBA New Jersey Nets' radio network.
And, former Manhattan head coach Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst who also does some game commentary duties for ESPN.
There are probably others, as well, although memory fails at the moment. But, it clearly has been a successful career path for some former coaches with past MAAC affiliations, and it appears that Parise is well on his way toward finding similar success.