After three seasons and a turnaround at Manhattan as head coach it appeared that Steve Masiello was primed for a move to South Florida until his past caught up to him.
Masiello went from a hot candidate, to unsure if he would be able to continue at his current job when Manhattan placed him on leave after South Florida discovered he never graduated the University of Kentucky during their vetting process.
On Monday, Manhattan made a statement that Masiello will be allowed to resume coaching the team he led to their first NCAA tournament in a decade, on the condition that he finish his undergraduate degree.
“After an extensive review of the situation and extenuating circumstances, we determined that Mr. Masiello executed poor judgment but did not intentionally misrepresent himself in applying to the College,” Manhattan college president Brennan O’Donnell said in a statement.
O’Donnell said that after walking in a graduation ceremony for the class of 2000, Masiello intended to finish summer courses to complete his degree but did not. The school will place him on unpaid leave as he works to complete his degree over the summer. Associate head coach Matt Grady will be the school’s interim head coach while Masiello is absent.
“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to continue as the head men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College,” Masiello said in a statement. “I made a mistake that could have cost me my job at an institution I love. Details matter. Manhattan College has shown me a great deal of compassion and trust during this process, and I will do everything in my power to uphold that trust. I understand that I am very fortunate to have the chance to remain here at Manhattan.”
The Jaspers are Masiello’s longest employer, having hired him for two jobs over a span of seven seasons. Manhattan promoted him to associate head coach for two seasons before he left for Louisville and hired him to be their head coach in 2011. Masiello is 60-39 in three seasons at the MAAC school.
Ryan Restivo covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.