Fran McCaffrey Hired as Iowa's Coach

March 28, 2010

Written by Jon Miller

Fran McCaffery has been hired as Iowa’s 22nd head coach.  He will be introduced Monday at 11:00am in Iowa City.  He comes to Iowa from Siena, where he has won three straight conference championships.

I spoke with Van Coleman of, who has been evaluating high school talent for more than three decades.  Coleman knew McCaffery back to Fran’s days at Notre Dame which began in the late 1980’s.

“He has been at a place where they recruited high major players year in and year out,” Coleman said.  “He was a part of some Top Ten, Top 20 rated recruiting classes during the first part of the 1990’s.  Laphonso Ellis, guys like that.”

During his time in the Midwest, McCaffery would have had relationships with many of the hotbed schools and AAU programs, however one look at his current Siena roster would indicate he has not been mining those relationships as of late.  Being that it has been so long ago that he coached in the Midwest, many of those people that were once in place at those schools and programs are likely no longer in positions of influence at this current time; the majority of Siena’s roster is made up of players from New York and Pennsylvania.

Another point Coleman pointed out was one of McCaffery’s current assistant coaches at Siena, Mitch Buonaguro.

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If Mitch joins Fran at Iowa, he would bring a wealth of recruiting experience and knowledge of the game with him.  He was part of Rollie Massimino’s Villanova programs, including the one that won the 1985 National Championship.  After the legendary Massimino’s days at Villanova had concluded, Mitch joined him at Cleveland State.  Here is his bio from the Siena site:  LINK

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Coleman feels that it would be a big boost to Fran’s Iowa tenure if he brought Buonaguro with him to Iowa.

Coleman said that McCaffery is someone that would connect well with the fans and players; a very personable coach but also someone that isn’t going to cause an Athletics Director any sleepless nights.

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The final point Coleman made was that McCaffery really pushed hard for the Iowa job.  He very much wanted to get to the Midwest, as his wife was a former player for Notre Dame and hails from Minnesota.  He made it known to the powers that be early on that he was interested in the Iowa job, and he turned down overtures from St. Johns and Seton Hall in recent days because he wanted to see the Iowa opportunity to its end.

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