Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Cluess, Grasso to Iona; Buonaguro to Siena; Hurley Takes Over at Wagner
Tim Cluess is the new Iona head coach and will be introduced Friday at a press conference.
The presser is tentatively set for 11 a.m., but could be moved back to the afternoon.
Cluess will also bring in Jared Grasso as his top assistant. Grasso, the former Fordham interim head coach, is a tremendous recruiter with deep ties to Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony and Paterson (N.J.) Catholic.
Fran Fraschilla was originally thought to be the favorite for the head job once former coach Kevin Willard took the Seton Hall position.
But Fraschilla opted to remain at ESPN instead.
Louisville assistant Steve Masiello was also heavily considered but Iona athletic director Pat Lyons ultimately opted for Cluess, who built CW Post into a Division II power and played college ball at St. John’s and Hofstra.
In four seasons at the Long Island school, he went 19-11, 26-5, 30-1 and 23-6. This past year he won 19 of his final 21 games. He is 98-23 overall at the school.
“He’s a winner, he’s won everywhere he’s been,” an Iona source said. “And he’s inheriting a team that’s built to win right now.”
The source said Cluess beat out Masiello because he has head coaching experience.
“I think [Masiello] was very close but it was just a tough decision and the fact that he was a winner and called timeouts before, he’s called plays before, that says something,” the source said.
With Cluess leaving CW Post, that makes 10 schools in the New York-metropolitan area that have had or will have coaching changes. Seton Hall, St. John’s, Hofstra, Fordham, Iona, FDU and Wagner all named new coaches, while Siena, CW Post and St. Francis of Brooklyn must now find new coaches. (FDU kept Greg “Shoes” Vetrone after a search.)
If Rutgers head coach Fred Hill is let go, that would make 11 coaching changes this season alone.
**Pete Iorizzo of the Albany Times Union reports that former Siena assistant Mitch Buonaguro will be formally introduced as the new coach Thursday or Friday. He replaces Fran McCaffery, who took the Iowa job.
**Dan Hurley was introduced Wednesday as the new head coach at Wagner College on Staten Island. Hurley spent nine seasons at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark and was a four-year assistant at Rutgers prior to that.
“I want it to feel like a big-time college basketball program right off the bat,” Hurley said
Read my story here.
THE ROBINSON SCHOOL PHOENIXVincent Robinson, the former Athletic Director/ Head Coach at Newark (N.J.) NIA Prep, has started the “The Robinson School Phoenix,” a new prep school in Newark that will begin play in the 2010-11 season.
The Phoenix plan to play a 35-40 game season against some of the top high school, prep and junior college teams in the country.
Robinson is the Head Coach/Athletic Director, former NBA player Frantz Pierre-Louis is the Associate Head Coach, Tarrell Robinson is an assistant coach and former ABA Newark Express head coach Quasim Austin is a assistant coach.
High school students will attend a local private high school and post graduates will get ACT prep 4 days a week for 3 hours a day. Former Niagara University commit 6-9 Shaquille Duncan (Frankfort HS Philly), 6-3 Sahid Dortch (University HS) and 6-7 Isaiah Williams (Shabazz HS) have already committed, Robinson said. For more information please call Vincent Robinson 973-204-5413 or via email [email protected]. The website is www.therobinsonschool.org
(Photo courtesy CW Post Athletics)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.