Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mason-JMU Game Has MAAC Sideline Connections

When George Mason travels to Harrisonburg, Va., for a Colonial Athletic Association meeting with in-state rival James Madison tonight (7 p.m.), there will be more than a little MAAC history on the respective sidelines.

George Mason is coached by former Siena head man Paul Hewitt, midway through his first season with the Patriots.

James Madison is coached by Matt Brady, who coached four seasons at Marist and played at Siena. One of Brady's assistants is Rob Driscoll, who worked MAAC sidelines as an assistant for 12 years at three different programs.

Hewitt's team is currently 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the CAA (losing to Drexel).

Brady's team is 8-8 overall and 1-4 in the CAA.

The backgrounds ...

Hewitt's MAAC connection is from his three years at Siena (1997-98 through 1999-00). He took over a program that struggled in the three years before his arrival and turned things around immediately. His 66-27 record over his three seasons accounts for the highest winning percentage (.710) is the best ever in the Siena program. His Siena teams went to the NCAA tournament in 1998-99 and to the NIT in 1999-00.

After Siena, Hewitt coached 11 seasons at Georgia Tech (190-162) before the school bought out his contract. But, he wasn't out of work long, taking over at George Mason shortly after his dismissal from Georgia Tech.

Brady coached four seasons at Marist (2004-05 through 2007-08) where his teams accumulated a 73-50 record. Before he was at Marist, he was a Division I assistant for 17 seasons, two at Rhode Island, four at Wagner and 11 at St. Joseph's. He currently has a 63-55 record at JMU.

Brady's Siena connection comes from playing there from 1983-84 through 1986-87),as an all-league level point guard before the school joined the MAAC.

Brady's top assistant at James Madison is O'Driscoll, formerly a familiar sight on MAAC sidelines. O'Driscoll was a Manhattan assistant for two seasons (1996-97, 1997-98) under John Leonard, for six seasons at Iona under Jeff Ruland and for four years under Brady at Marist.

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