Friday, September 27, 2013

Story On Coffino's Brush With Tragedy Is Must-Read

We don't often post links to stories from other sources, but this one is far too good not to bring to your attention.

Many of us remember John Coffino from his days around the MAAC. Coffino served nine years as an assistant at three different conference program ... he was at Iona from 1997-99, at Niagara from 1999-2002 and at Saint Peter's from 2002-2006. He is also a graduate of Saint Peter's, so his connections to the conference are many.

During his time as an assistant coach he had a well-earned reputation as an extremely hard worker, a guy who was the first guy at the office every day and the last guy to leave. "FILO," he called it ... First In, Last Out.

He eventually moved on to coaching pros, joining Jeff Ruland's staff, initially, as an assistant coach with the Albuquerque Thunder (2008-10) and, then, coaching the Albany (N.Y.) legends to an Independent Basketball Association championship in 2012.

He went from there to a minor league job in Texas but left when paychecks for coaches and players stopped coming.

Unable to catch on anywhere else in the U.S., he took a job as the coach of a team at the Dankind Academy  in Qutar, Kenya. To supplement his meager income in that position he also took on coaching duties of a girls' team at an international high school in Nairobi.

And, then, came tragedy. One of the players on his girls' team was killed in the recent terrorist attack at a Nairobi shopping mall that has been in the news in recent days.

Yahoo Sports' Adam Wajnarowski recently spoke with Coffino and produced a wonderful story. Here it is:

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