Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Siena Finalists Set, Other Coaching News

Rumors swirl ...

Your blogger is hearing there are four candidates for the Siena head coaching position.

In no particular order:

- Mitch Buonaguro, the current top assistant there who was a major component in the program's most-successful era ever.

- Cliff Warren, the current head coach at Jacksonville who was a Siena assistant for three years during Paul Hewitt's tenure at the school.

- Bill Coen, the current head coach at Northeastern.

- Milan Brown, the current head coach at Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md.

Some observations ...

Buonaguro had both success and failure as a head coach at Fairfield in the mid-to-late 1980s. Before that, he was an assistant at Villanova and owns an NCAA championship ring. He has been the an integral part of Siena's success during McCaffery's five years at the school. He is well-liked by the community, and his contacts within college basketball are almost without match. He would ensure continuity within the program and would likely view becoming head coach as a destination and not a stepping stone.

Warren has had considerable success at Jacksonville. and was well-liked during his time at Siena. But, that was 10 years ago and his recruiting contacts in the northeast, where Siena has traditionally found most of its players, might be somewhat lacking.

Coen seems to embrace a grind-it-out style offensively, and Siena athletic director John D'Argenio has indicated a preference for a coach with an up-tempo philosophy. Northeastern played nine games in which it scored 60 or fewer points this past season, and Coen's roster with the Huskies is comprised mostly of international players. Coen is also rumored to be a candidate for the vacant Boston College job.

Milan Brown just finished his eighth season at Mount Saint Mary's after taking over for the legendary Jim Phelan. His team was 16-15 this past season, but finished 19-15 two years ago when it also earned a trip to the NCAA's, winning the play-in round game over Coppin State before losing its next contest against eventual national champion North Carolina.

Nobody asked me, but ... Siena adminitrators should recognize that the best candidate is already on their payroll, and give the job to Buonaguro.


- A variety of internet sources indicate that Fran Fraschilla, who formerly coached at Manhattan and is now an analyst for ESPN, is the most-likely candidate to replace Kevin Willard at Iona.

Former Iona coach Tim Welsh was also reportedly about to be interviewed at Iona, but instead was hired earlier today (Wednesday) after a successful interview at Hofstra.

- And, it has been reported in a New York City paper that Barry Rohrssen will keep his position at Manhattan rather than join the staff at St. John's under new head coach Steve Lavin.

But, there are "reports" now that current Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos might be considered for an assistant's position on Lavin's St. John's staff.

- Lastly, it is also being reported that Fairfield coach Ed Cooley has already been interviewed for the Boston College vacancy.

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