Thursday, July 5, 2012

Former Standout Iuzzolino Rejoins Baron at Canisius

You might need a long memory, or have been a college basketball fan back in the late 1980's/early 1990's, to recall the newest Canisius men's assistant basketball coach Mike Iuzzolino.

Iuzzolino became the latest addition to head coach Jim Baron's staff at the Buffalo school recently when he was named the program's director of basketball operations.

It's not the first time the two have connected. After playing two seasons as a reserve at Penn State, the 5-foot-10 Iuzzolino transferred to St. Francis (Pa.) to play two more seasons (1989-90, 1990-91) under Baron.

There, Iuzzolino blossomed as a college player, averaging 24.1 points per game as a senior, was the NEC's Player of the Year and helped lead the Red Flash to their first and only NCAA tournament appearance.

There, St. Francis met up with an Arizona team that included for future NBA players (post players Brian Williams and Sean Rooks, small forward Chris Mills and guard Khalid Reeves).

Iuzzolino had 20 points (6-of-13 shooting) and six assists in 35 minutes of court time as the Red Flash stayed close throughout before dropping a 93-80 decision.

Iuzzolino's work was enough for him to get drafted, a second-round pick (No. 35 overall) in the 1991 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He would play two full NBA seasons, averaging 9.0 points and 4.3 assists per contest before playing two more seasons in the Continental Basketball Association. After that he played six seasons in Italy's premier professional league and, the, closed out his pro career playing for teams in Greece and Spain.

Iuzzolino began his coaching career with the Duquesne women's basketball program, then spent a season with the women's program at George Mason University. For the past three seasons he was an assistant coach with the Division III St. Vincent's College in Pennsylvania.

His recent move to Canisius marks the 44-year old Iuzzolino's first coaching position with a men's Division I program.

"Mike is a tremendous addition to our staff," said Canisius coach Jim Baron, in a press release issued by the school. "He had a great career playing for me at St. Francis (Pa.), and carried that on to the NBA and then overseas. For as good as he was on the court, he was that good, if not better in the classroom. He was a real student-athlete who can serve as a role model for our guys and I'm proud to be working with him again."

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