THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Siena has fired coach Mitch Buonaguro after three seasons, and the Saints announced on Tuesday that a search for his successor has already started.
The Saints went 8-24 this season, tying the school’s record for losses. Buonaguro went 35-59 with the Saints, never finishing a season with a winning record or in the top half of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The three-year slide immediately followed the most successful three-year run in school history, when Siena won MAAC titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010 — all under coach Fran McCaffery, with Buonaguro then serving as his top assistant.
“I’d like to thank Mitch for his dedication and commitment to Siena basketball the last eight years,” Siena athletic director John D’Argenio said. “This change isn’t being made for lack of effort. Basketball is important in the strategic direction of Siena. We have high expectations and aspirations for this program.”
Siena struggled with depth issues in each of the past two years, and home losses began piling up this year at a rate unlike most seasons. The Saints went 4-10 at home, the school’s worst record in those games since 2004-05. Siena went 17-0 at home in each of the two seasons before Buonaguro replaced McCaffery, now the coach at Iowa.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity Siena gave me,” Buonaguro said. “It’s a very special place, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my eight years here. The student athletes we have brought through the program are people the Siena community can be very proud of. We had some great success here, and although the last three years did not produce the results any of us hoped for on the court, I leave knowing I gave my all every day.”
Fr. Kevin Mullen, Siena’s president, said the decision to make a change was “difficult.”
“But it was made with the best interest of our program and student athletes in mind,” Mullen said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball