Siena College basketball coach Jimmy Patsos didn’t have to wait long to find out just how much the Siena College administration appreciated his first season on the job.
After leading the Saints to a 12-win improvement over the previous year, including their 19th 20-win season and the College Basketball Invitational championship, Patsos was granted a one-year contract extension, keeping his deal the same through the 2018-19 campaign.
“I’m very happy to get it,” said a chuckling Patsos. “We’ll take it. We [Patsos and Siena athletic director John D’Argengio] work well together. They didn’t have to grant me an extension. I didn’t ask for one. But that just shows you what kind of program Siena is. I feel very at home here.”
Patsos, who promised an exciting brand of basketball when he took over as Siena’s 16th head basketball coach on April 3, 2013, said the attitude of his young team, which include talented rookies Marquis Wright and Lavon Long, enabled him to get the right message across.
“I had a very good group to work with, and they worked very hard to make it all happen,” Patsos said.
Patsos has already become a part of the Siena family. He participated in Siena’s annual golf outing, as well as an old-timer’s luncheon.
“I’m grateful to be here. I love this place,” he said. “I’m just a passenger along for the ride, and I’m lucky to be part of it.”
D’Argenio said that Patsos exceeded expectations.
“The turnaround of our team, both in terms of on-court success and talent level, happened much more quickly than we thought it would,” he said. “That’s a testament to coach Patsos’ ability to recruit quality student athletes and teach and motivate young men to realize their potential. We decided at the end of the season to add one more year to Jimmy’s current contract.”
Meanwhile, Patsos’ coaching magic helped the Saints rank 94th nationally in Division I attendance with 108,424 for their 19 home games, an average of 5,707 fans per game. It was the 17th straight season that Siena has ranked in the top 100 Division I programs in attendance.
The Saints return almost their entire roster, including CBI MVP Brett Bisping (11.5 ppg, 6.5 rebounds) and third-team All-MAAC selection Rob Poole, who led the team with a 14.6 ppg scoring average and 71 three-pointers.
Siena’s 14-game 2014-15 home schedule includes 10 MAAC games as well as non-conference games with UAlbany, Vermont, Cornell and Bucknell. The MAAC tournament returns to the Times Union Center from 2015-2017.