Following a brief flirtation with the vacancy at St. John's University, one of the winningest men's basketball coaches in Iona College history says he’s staying with the Gaels.
Coming off his fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance with the Gaels, Tim Cluess announced he will be back at Iona for his 10th year, rejecting apparent overtures from St. John's, where Cluess was a member of the basketball team before transferring to Hofstra.
"I would like to start by thanking everyone for all their support. I am truly blessed to have so many people say so many nice things," Cluess said. "I am however taking my name out of consideration for the St. John’s job.
“When I was unexpectedly contacted last week, it opened up a flood of emotions. For those of you who have ever lost a loved one you know that there are special places, trinkets, and memories that keep them alive in your heart and soul. St. John’s was one of those key places where my love for family has been a part of my life since my earliest memories.”
Citing his brothers, Cluess said that he was drawn to the job with the Red Storm “and a chance to bring back their rich tradition,” but ultimately chose to stay in Westchester.
“I love my players at Iona and being a coach here and I am truly blessed to be able to do what I love at a place I love,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to grow the Iona program to higher levels.”
Iona has participated in a national postseason tournament in each of his nine seasons and won more than 20 games in eight of those seasons. The Gaels have also claimed a MAAC regular season or tournament championship in each of the last nine seasons.
"The unprecedented success of Iona men's basketball under Tim Cluess' leadership - both academically and athletically - is remarkable,” Iona College President Joseph Nyre said. "Tim Cluess is an incredible coach and person and we look forward to his continued leadership, the continued growth of the men's basketball program and his ability to Fight the Good Fight.”
During Cluess’ tenure, Iona has 199 wins and a .650 winning percentage, which is the most among nearly two dozen NCAA Division I schools in the metropolitan area. He’s also been named the MAAC Coach of the Year twice.
"We are extremely proud of Tim Cluess and how he represents our program," Iona’s Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski said. ”He has elevated Iona men's basketball and put us into the national spotlight on an annual basis and we are thankful for all of his hard work and dedication. We look forward to continued success with Tim Cluess as the leader of our basketball program."
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