LOUDONVILLE — A year ago, Siena College went weeks without a men’s basketball head coach.
This year, the Saints look likely to go at least a weekend . . . but, perhaps, not much longer than that.
While signs point to Carmen Maciariello becoming the Saints’ next head coach, the school made no official announcement Friday regarding its vacancy. Maciariello became the program’s interim head coach Thursday after former head coach Jamion Christian left for George Washington University, and the Siena alumnus and Capital Region native appears to be the front-runner for the job.
Reports out Friday suggested Maciariello’s elevation is inevitable, a day after Siena athletic director John D’Argenio spent significant chunks of his session Thursday with area reporters praising the ability of Maciariello — who served as an assistant coach for Christian — and referencing a “need to work with some speed” in finding a new coach.
“The sooner we get it done,” D’Argenio said, “the better.”
Attempts Friday to reach D’Argenio were unsuccessful.
Maciariello was in attendance Friday at the Federation Basketball Tournament of Champions at Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. Siena commit Lucas Sutherland, a West Genesee senior, played in one of the night’s Class AA boys’ semifinals. Maciariello greeted Sutherland, who has said he still expects to attend Siena, with a big hug after West Genesee lost 59-53 to Christ the King.
Sutherland said it had been an "up and down" day for him after finding out via Twitter that Christian had left Siena. He said it was "awesome" Maciariello came to watch him play in Glens Falls.
“He’s going through this as much as I am," Sutherland said.
Sutherland, who was an all-tournament selection after scoring 23 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in defeat, added: "I'm super-excited to play for him."
That's not guaranteed yet, but things are trending that way. On Friday, Siena’s athletic department’s website removed references to assistant coaches Graham Bousley and Ryan Devlin, as well as special assistant to the head coach A.J. Register. Meanwhile, references to Maciariello and director of basketball operations Harley Fuller remained.
Siena went 17-16 during the 2018-19 season after going 8-24 the prior season. Much of the urgency to name the program’s head coach, D’Argenio said Thursday, is to try to keep intact the core of the improving Saints — a group that most notably includes freshman Jalen Pickett, the MAAC Rookie of the Year.
Maciariello, a Shenendehowa graduate and Clifton Park native, graduated from Siena in 2001 after starting his college career at New Hampshire. He played professionally for four seasons in Italy after his college career, and has spent the last 11 seasons working as an assistant coach with stops at Fairfield, Boston, George Washington and Siena. Prior to starting as an assistant coach with Fairfield in 2008, Maciariello had worked as Siena’s director of basketball operations for the 2005-06 season, which was Fran McCaffery’s first season at Siena.
Maciariello also has a strong connection to the Albany City Rocks, an AAU program that Maciariello competed for as a teenager and later worked for the organization as a coach and vice president. Maciariello’s relationship with the City Rocks helped the Saints recruit Pickett last year.