Siena Saints Part Way With Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro

By John Engel
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

After three years as the head coach of the Siena Saints, Mitch Buonaguro and the university have parted ways. The school announced the firing of Buonaguro in a press release Tuesday.

Buonaguro was the ideal candidate to replace former head coach Fran McCaffery, who led the Saints in their most prominent stretch in program history. However, Buonaguro’s 35-59 record over three seasons, which resulted in a ninth place finish in the MAAC this season, wasn’t working for Siena.

In a statement released by Siena athletic director John D’Argenio, it appears the change was accepted by both parties, and each side will move on peacefully.

“I’d like to thank Mitch for his dedication and commitment to Siena basketball the last eight years. This change isn’t being made for lack of effort,” D’Argenio said. “Basketball is important in the strategic direction of Siena. We have high expectations and aspirations for this program.”

Apparently those aspirations didn’t include a .372 winning percentage.

Buonaguro nearly broke one of Siena’s less publicized records of 24 losses in one season, as he tied the total in the 2012-13 season. Siena reached the NCAA tournament in each of the previous three seasons before Buonaguro took the helm. Home court used to be a secure ticket to victory for the Saints — Siena went 17-0 at home in the two previous seasons before Buonaguro took control — but their 4-10 record at home this season was their worst since 2004-05.

Under McCaffery, in the period from 2005 to 2010, the Saints won three straight MAAC titles earning them automatic NCAA tournament berths.

McCaffery is now the head coach at Iowa.

John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports, covering the Pac-12 and Mountain West conferences. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.

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