Cabrini Athletics Director Leslie Danehy announced on Feb. 16 that men’s basketball coach Matthew Macciocca’s contract would not be renewed for the 2007/2008 season.
The athletic department has “decided to move in a different direction for leadership for the men’s basketball program,” according to Danehy.
Danehy did not comment on the details of Macciocca’s non-renewal.
“I appreciate Matt’s contributions to our department over the last two years. This was a well-thought out decision and it was not made in a precipitous manner.”
As Cabrini men’s head coach, Macciocca posted 16 total wins (12 in conference) and 34 loses (22 in conference) over the course of his two season term.
The news came as somewhat of a shock to the Cabrini community, including members of the men’s basketball team and athletic department.
Randy Reid, junior accounting major and team co-captain, was surprised to hear the news about Macciocca’s dismissal.
“It was quite shocking. When I first heard the news I was speechless,” he said.
Some of the players have mixed views regarding the decision made on the termination of Macciocca’s position.
According to junior marketing major and team captain Greg Clifton, “As a captain, despite how it looked, it wasn’t all of coach’s fault. We are the players on the court. I take responsibility.”
Macciocca expressed the importance of five principals, which were called the five pillars of respect, character, sacrifice, discipline and commitment. According to players, these ideas were not followed 100 percent by Macciocca himself.
The team felt like they were not prepared for games and scouting reports were ignored. Many of the players feel that there was miscommunication between the staff and the team. They believe that Macciocca’s program may have been more successful at a Division I school.
Although some of the players were shocked about the haste of the decision, there were inklings that players were aware of the possibility of removing Macciocca.
“I think it was pretty obvious that we didn’t have successful years back to back and I believe they want to get this program back to its winning tradition so they figured they would try to find a new leader,” Reid said.
Now that the dust has settled and a gaping hole has opened in the head coach spot, there are expectations that the players are looking to be met.
The players interviewed said they are looking for better leadership and a person with better communication skills, as well as a person that sticks to their guns. Someone who has more experience at a Divison III level is also a important characteristic for a new coach.
All in all, the athletic department is searching for the best possible person for the job. The players were disappointed with Macciocca’s outcome. He was their No. 1 choice in replacing the previous coach John Dzik.
According to Danehy, “The department is confident that we will have a strong coach and strong program in the very near future, if the position is full-time. I anticipate receiving over 100 applications for the position and I expect the quality of the applications to be very high overall. In general, I would like to hire someone who has demonstrated success as a head college coach.”
The team is looking forward to next season and hopes to to come back strong with a fresh start.
Clifton closed with, “We just want to compete and play basketball. We’re players, we just want to play.”
On Feb. 20, Tim Redding, an assistant coach for the men’s team, resigned from his position.
Matthew Macciocca was contacted Tuesday night for an interview but was unavailable for comment at that time.
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