Sunday, March 4, 2012

Canisius Fires Tom Parrotta After 5-25 Season

Even the prospect of a strong season a year from now, with quality perimeter players returning and some impressive transfers in place to play in 2012-13, couldn't save Canisius coach Tom Parrotta's job.

According to the school's website, Canisius has announced that Tom Parrotta will not return as its coach next season.

The Golden Griffins finished a 5-25 campaign with a loss against Western New York rival Niagara in the first round of the MAAC Tournament on Friday night.

Parrotta, who came to Canisius after serving as an assistant at Hofstra, was its head coach for the past six seasons and had a year remaining on his contract.

Canisius College's director of athletics Bill Maher made the announcement earlier this evening.

In a statement released by the school, Maher said: "After careful consideration, I have made the difficult decision to make a change in the leadership of our men's basketball program. This decision comes after careful thought to what I believe is in the best interest of our men's basketball program ... Tom has worked diligently on behalf of Canisius College and has had a significant impact on our program in a number of areas, and for that, we are grateful. However, our goal is to compete for the MAAC championship and we have not made sufficient progress toward that goal. I appreciate Tom's hard work and dedication ... and most importantly to our student-athletes. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Parrotta had a career record of 64-121 overall at Canisius and a 30-78 mark in MAAC play. His team's 5-25 overall record this season included a 1-17 mark in conference play.

The program has not finished above .500 overall since a 20-11 record in the 2000-01 season. Its best season since then was under Parrotta when his 2010-11 team finished 9-9 in MAAC play and 15-15 overall with a veteran group of players.

Four starters graduated from that squad and Parrotta opted to build for the future via the transfer rout, including 6-10 centers Freddie Gasparilla (from Kansas State), and Jordan Heath (Robert Weslyan) and 6-3 guard Isaac Sosa (from Central Florida).

All three had to sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but will be eligible for next season.

The Griffs also saw their top returnee from the 2010-11 season, guard Gaby Belardo, deal with back issues that rarely allowed him to practice and saw him play throughout the current season noticeably hindered physically.

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