Now that the Jimmy Patsos era is officially over in Loudonville and they are on the hunt for a head coach for the first time since 2013, here’s a look at seven potential candidates to replace him at Siena.
Beilein, the current head coach at Division II Le Moyne, seems to be the early favorite to land the job, and rightfully so. He has coaching in his blood, as the son of Michigan head coach John. He hasn’t used his name to get jobs as he has produced results in three years as the Le Moyne coach, with a record of 59-31 and two D2 tournament appearances and leading the team to the Division II Elite Eight this year. His other credentials are extremely impressive, as he has also served as the head coach of Division II West Virginia Wesleyan as well as assistant coach positions at Dartmouth and the NBA’s Utah Jazz. He reportably turned down an offer to become Marist’s coach earlier this offseason. Also, at 35, he is still very young for a Division I coach and is someone that can potentially springboard Siena to success.
McNamara, an assistant coach at Syracuse, was a name reported by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman on Friday night saying that he is reportably a name being thrown around in Loudonville. The 34-year-old is a Syracuse basketball legend and has been an assistant under Jim Boeheim since 2011 and has been seen as a possible successor to the legendary coach after Mike Hopkins left for Washington a year ago. He has done a lot of recruiting for the Orange during his tenure in the high-level ACC which may bode him well in a lower-level conference like the MAAC. If hired, this would be his first head coaching job.
The popular former Siena assistant under Mitch Buonaguro, recently finished up his fifth season as the head coach of Division II St. Thomas Aquinas, a school in Rockland County. He has led them to success, including a 28-6 campaign during the 2015-16 season followed up by a 26-7 mark this year and has an impressive record of 117-43 total. He has no Division I coaching experience but has also been the head man at Division III Hamilton and Clarkson. With Siena being familiar to him, it may be a good place for him to start. Expect him to at least get an interview.
He is someone that is familiar with the MAAC and Siena. Perhaps the biggest part, he is a Siena alumni that played for the Saints from 1983-1987. He served as the head coach at Marist from 2004-2008, guiding them to a 73-50 record during his tenure and a conference regular season championship for the 2006-07 season, a feat that the program has not achieved since. He later became the head coach at James Madison for eight seasons and led them to the NCAA tournament in 2013. In total, he has 12 years of Division I coaching experience and has over 200 wins to his name. He is only 52, so he has some coaching years left in him, and currently serves as the director of player personnel at Maryland. If he wants to get back into head coaching and if Siena wants to make a strong hire, they should give Brady a look.
Mason has been the head coach at Wagner the past six seasons and has done very well there. He has led the Seahawks to two NEC regular season championships in the last three seasons, including this year, but all of his teams have not won the conference championship to go to the big dance, settling for a pair of NIT bids. Mason was once the youngest head coach in all of Division I basketball and at 34 is still young for a Division I coach. He is a former Marist assistant and was seen as a candidate for their head coach job but was passed up. This may be another opportunity for him to take a step up from the NEC.
Pecora, at 60, is the elder statesman on this list, but has the most coaching experience of anyone on this list. He is currently the associate head coach under Baker Dunleavy at Quinnipiac, so he knows the MAAC. Additionally, he has 14 years of Division I head coaching experience to his name between Hofstra, where he racked up 154 wins, and most recently Fordham. His Fordham days, which lasted from 2010-2015, where his teams struggled mightily and never finished with a better record than 10-19 and only won 13 conference games in five seasons. He was interviewed for the Marist job and did not get it, and this may be a chance for him to get back to being a head coach.
Caputo has spent the last seven seasons as the associate head coach at Miami. He has seen a lot of success being the right-hand man to Jim Larranaga for 11 seasons between Miami and George Mason and has been a part of six NCAA tournament squads between the two schools, and has been on his staff for the past 16 years. He is seen as a great defensive coach so if that’s what Siena is looking for, he’s someone to look at. A drawback here is he does not have any head coaching experience at any level, but he is a popular name in Siena circles and he may be the guy if Siena decides that they want to look at high-major assistant coaches.