Siena names Jamion Christian as men’s basketball coach

LOUDONVILLE — Siena has hired its 17th head coach in program history, Jamion Christian, the school announced Wednesday.

Christian comes to Siena after six seasons at Mount St. Mary’s, with a 101-95 record (67-39 conference) and two NCAA tournament appearances as champion of the NEC in 2014 and 2017. 

He replaces Jimmy Patsos, who resigned on April 13 following allegation of verbal abuse towards a team manager, among other accusations. 

Christian, 36, has been a coach in college basketball since 2004, serving as an assistant at Division III Emory and Henry from 2004-2006, director of basketball operations at Bucknell from 2006-2008, assistant at William & Mary from 2008-2011 followed by one year on Shaka Smart’s staff at VCU from 2011-2012 before taking the job at Mount St. Mary’s.

“I am so honored to be named the head coach at Siena College, and I would like to thank President Coughlin and John D’Argenio for this opportunity,” Christian said in a statement. “I was immedietely drawn to Siena by its rich history of basketball excellence and high level of achievement. I am looking forward to bringing an exciting brand of basketball to the Capital Region, and building upon what is already a strong Siena Basketball tradition. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and ready to get to work with our team. We have a lot to prove, and we’re going to have a lot of fun earning it each and every day. I love the passionate fan base, and I implore them to help amplify our style of play which is going to be a real problem for all opponents who enter the Times Union Center.”

He has gained noteriety for his “Mount Mayhem” style that emphasizes three-point shooting and strong defensive pressure. Mount St. Mary’s led the NEC this year with a 37.9 three-point percentage on 853 attempts total. 

He will be behind schedule in terms of recruiting, as the regular signing period began on April 11 and the evaluation for the class of 2019 began two weeks ago. Both of Siena’s 2018 recruits, Jake Wojcik and DeVon Baker, both re-opened their recruiting. Wojcik recently signed with Richmond, and as of Wednesday it is unclear which current Siena players will be staying and leaving. 

“On behalf of the campus community, I’d like to welcome Jamion, his fiancée Allie, and his son Jacoy to Siena College and the Capital Region,” said Siena Vice President and athletic director John D’Argenio in a statement. “Coach Christian is a proven head coach who possesses an infectious energy, and a commitment to develop young men both as people and student-athletes. During our discussions, it quickly became obvious that he respects Siena, its basketball program, its people and its traditions. We are excited to have Coach Christian represent Siena College.”

Christian, who is getting married on Saturday to fiancée Allie Vadas, is from Quinton, Virginia and played at Mount St. Mary’s from 2000-2003. 

He is set to be introduced on Wednesday with a press conference at the Times Union Center at 4 p.m., followed by a meet and greet from 5-6 p.m.

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