Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Reports: Masiello Prime Target For USF Vacancy

The coaching carousel is already spinning at breakneck speed, and its early portions appear to include at least one MAAC program's head man.

A variety of sources are reporter there is interest both ways between the University of South Florida and Manhattan's Steve Masiello with some outlets reporting the Jaspers' coach is the program's top target to become its next head coach.

That position at the American Athletic Conference, one of the nation's high-major leagues, came open last when when USF fired Stan Heath.

Heath reportedly had four years left on his contract at a base salary of $375,000 annually, but other related compensation, according to reports, increased his annual pay to close to $600K per year.

Masiello, if nothing else, has sought advice about pursuing the position.

According to CBSSports.com, Masiello asked Louisville coach Rick Pitino, a long-time mentor, about the USF position after Louisville's victory over Saint Louis in the NCAA tournament on Saturday.

Pitino, according to the Tampa Bay Times newspaper, told Masiello, "For you, it's a grand slam."

According to the report among those supporting Masiello's candidacy for the USF job is Chris Sullivan, a co-founder of Outback Steak House and an influential Tampa resident who is close to Pitino.

A recent report in the Tampa Bay newspaper indicates that Masiello is believed to be USF's top target.

Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and NBA.com has cited unnamed sources who confirmed that Masiello is expected to meet with USF officials this week.

And, former USF coach Seth Greenberg said via Twitter on Sunday that he expects the school to hire Masiello.

Masiello has been at Manhattan for the past three seasons. He resuscitated a program that only won six games the year before his arrival and took the program to this season's NCAA tournament and a 25-8 overall record.

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