Good news at Iona: The men's head basketball coach Tim Cluess is staying, after flirting with Hofstra in recent days for the vacant position at that school.
News of Cluess' decision to remain with the Gaels came from the school's publicity branch in this form:
"Iona College is pleased to announce that men's basketball coach Tim Cluess has recommitted to coaching the Gaels for at least the next five years," said the release issued by the school.
So, what does that mean?
Multiple reports indicate that Cluess was Hofstra's top choice for its opening, but that the coach's Iona contract had a large buyout clause that, possibly, Hofstra wasn't willing to meet.
It also means that Cluess got a contract extension from Iona, assuredly with a considerable raise financially.
But, the five year expectation?
Yes, the contract will cover Cluess for the next five seasons. But, when coaches get wooed by a higher-level program, remaining years on a contract are, basically, meaningless.
Very few, if any, MAAC coaches have ever "honored" the remaining years on their contract when a major level program comes calling with a job offer. Very few, if any, MAAC schools would force a coach to honor remaining years on a contract when a high-major program offers a job.
What does it mean for Iona?
It means the program is able to maintain, for the time being, a very good coach. Cluess has revitalized the Gaels and has won 70 games over the past three seasons (more than any other MAAC program), while going to the NCAA tournament in each of the past two years.
It ensures a level of continuity for a program that has a nice nucleus coming back (guards Sean Armand and Tavon Sledge, and forward David Laury, among others).
The return of Cluess all but ensures there won't be many, if any, player defections from either the current roster or from incoming recruits.
It assuredly keeps Iona in the top half of next season's standings, right up there with early 2013-14 favorites Niagara and Manhattan.
It's never a bad thing when a coach from the MAAC is able to move on to bigger and better things.
But it's even better when a good coach who has already accomplished much is able to stay within the league and accomplish much more in future years.