LOUDONVILLE — The coaching profession can lead individuals to many different places, often far from home. For new Siena College men’s basketball coaching staff member Matt Miner, though, that path has led him back home.
Miner, a 27-year-old native of Clifton Park and Shenendehowa High School graduate, was named Siena’s special assistant to the head coach in April.
“It’s really a dream come true,” Miner said last Wednesday at Siena basketball’s summer fan event. “Ever since I got started in the coaching world, I’ve hoped to come back to this area, and specifically to Siena. I grew up watching Siena games.”
Not only does Miner get to live out the dream of coming back to work at Siena, but he also gets to work with someone he has looked up to for years in head coach Carmen Maciariello who is also a Shenendehowa graduate.
“Siena’s always had a place in my heart, and it’s really been a dream and a goal of mine to work my way back,” Miner said. “And to do so with coach Carm who went to my high school — was a great at my high school and won a Section II championship at my high school — to do it with him, I’m really grateful, thankful for the opportunity and excited to be here. . . . I always looked up to Carm.”
Miner also starred at Shenendehowa. During his time at Shenendehowa, he helped lead the Plainsmen to four Suburban Council championships, was named Section II player of the year after averaging 21 points per game his senior year, and ranks fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list.
Following his decorated high school career, Miner played four years at St. Edward’s University in Texas before becoming an assistant coach for the school’s women’s basketball team for four years.
“I majored in finance and kind of thought that I wanted to do that. Then, I was lucky enough to get a graduate assistant spot at my alma mater to get my master’s,” Miner said. “Pursued my master’s and while I was a [graduate assistant] kind of fell in love with the profession. Fell in love with being able to teach young student-athletes.”
During his four years coaching with the program, St. Edward’s won a total of 59 games, which was its most in any four-year span, and reached the NCAA tournament for the second time ever.
Miner also spent time working with the Phoenix Suns and was a critical part in their build up to the 2018 NBA draft.
“That experience was really great. I had a coaching friend that works for their analytics department. They were just in a pinch and needed some extra work, so he gave me a call, I interviewed a little bit, and was able to work for their analytics department for a few months,” Miner said. “I kind of helped them in their draft process. . . . It was a really great learning experience to see how detailed, how precise they are at that level. The stuff that they were looking at and charting was stuff that I had never even thought of.”
The experience Minor gained from his time working with the Suns will help in his new role at Siena.
“He does some analytics, he does some advanced scouting, he does help plan practice. He does a lot of logistical things,” Maciariello said. “Basically, from A to Z, anything I need help with.”
Tyrell Feaster is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Feaster, a junior at the University at Albany, is majoring in journalism.