LOUDONVILLE — For a pair of Siena College’s newly minted men’s basketball staff members, the job represents a homecoming.
That’s Harley Fuller and Carmen Maciariello, the former a Broadalbin-Perth graduate and the latter a Shenendehowa alumnus who later graduated from Siena in 2001.
“It’s just a great feeling to be home,” said Maciariello, who previously served as the school’s director of basketball operations for the 2005-06 season. “I’ve been away for 10-plus years.”
“And I’ve always loved Siena,” said Fuller, a 2006 high school graduate who later coached for two seasons at Mayfield. “To me, it’s my hometown school.”
Each coach was formally added to Siena head coach Jamion Christian’s staff earlier this week, and each expressed optimism about what is to come for the Capital Region program. Fuller worked last season with Christian at Mount St. Mary’s, while Maciariello has spent the last four seasons at George Washington.
Also on Christian’s staff are Graham Bousley and Ryan Devlin; Bousley also worked with Christian at Mount St. Mary’s.
Harley Fuller, a @BPpatriots grad, has an interesting original road of connections to Jamion Christian.— Michael Kelly (@ByMichaelKelly) June 28, 2018
Fuller knows @SCSchools legend James Thomas, who knows @TexasMBB head coach Shaka Smart, who knows Christian.
Fuller worked last season at Mount St. Mary's with Christian.
Fuller and Maciariello took much different paths to joining Christian’s staff.
After finishing a five-year professional playing career in Argentina and Germany, Fuller — a 29-year-old Gloversville native — coached in the Albany City Rocks AAU program and at Mayfield. Fuller’s initial connection with Christian called upon his Capital Region roots, as Fuller contacted Schenectady native James Thomas to see if the current Schenectady varsity girls’ head coach could help Fuller get in touch with Christian about an opening on his Mount St. Mary’s staff.
Thomas did; the Texas alum reached out to current Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart, who Christian worked for at Virginia Commonwealth.
“Obviously, James is a local legend,” Fuller said, “but he’s also a great person.”
Christian didn’t hire Fuller for that opening for the 2016-17 season, but Fuller impressed Christian when he followed up with the head coach about doing some work to help the program, anyway. Christian asked Fuller if he’d be willing to do some statistical work for the Mount St. Mary’s staff, and Fuller took that offer.
“So for a year, without any pay or anything like that, he did that for us,” Christian said.
Fuller joined Christian’s staff the next season, and hoped to follow the coach to Siena when Christian was hired in May.
“There’s never a day when he’s not high-energy. I haven’t seen that,” said Fuller, who will serve as Siena’s director of basketball operations. “He’s great to work for. Everybody, I think, wants to work for someone they have a great deal of belief in. That’s one thing when I started coaching, I said that I wanted to work for someone who I believe in and that I have a great deal of trust in. Someone I look up to. Working for Coach Christian, I have that every day.”
Carmen Maciariello said he's done a lot of smiling since returning to the @SienaSaints.— Michael Kelly (@ByMichaelKelly) June 28, 2018
“But I’ll be smiling a lot more in a couple years when we’re in the place we want to be here.”
Meanwhile, Maciariello has carved out a reputation for himself as a detail-oriented defensive specialist during his last decade as an assistant coach at Fairfield, Boston and George Washington. The 40-year-old is the lone member of Christian’s staff who has not known the head coach for multiple years, but is someone Christian said he expects to lean on a lot.
“He’s really well respected in college basketball circles,” Christian said.
Maciariello wanted to come home, too. When he worked at Boston and Fairfield, he often used his free weekends to head back to the Capital Region. Since returning to Siena as an assistant coach, Maciariello said he has worn a constant smile.
“But I’ll be smiling a lot more in a couple years when we’re in the place we want to be here,” Maciariello said.
Christian and his staff have a lot of work ahead of them. Siena is coming off an 8-24 season and five players from its opening night 2017-18 roster have left the program.
In his first coaching stint at Siena, Maciariello worked as the director of basketball operations for Fran McCaffery’s first season as the Saints’ head coach. That 2005-06 season helped lay the foundation for the Saints’ run of NCAA tournament appearances in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“Now I have the chance to do that as an assistant at my alma mater,” Maciariello said. “It’s just great. We have a lot of work to do, but this brings back a lot of great memories for me.”
Siena hasn’t appeared in the NCAA tournament since 2010, McCaffery’s final season with the Saints. Despite that — or, perhaps, because of it — Fuller said it has been encouraging to see how members of Siena’s administration have helped Christian and his staff get started on their rebuilding project.
“All these people are doing everything they can to give us the tools we need to be successful,” Fuller said. “That’s been exciting.”