Cluess to take over Iona program

Updated: April 7, 2010, 10:24 PM ET
By Jon Rothstein |

In a bold move that the school hopes pays big dividends, Iona confirmed reports on Wednesday that it has hired C.W. Post's Tim Cluess to be its next men's head basketball coach.

An official announcement will happen on Thursday while a press conference will follow on Friday at 11 a.m. on the New Rochelle campus.

Widely regarded as the one of the top tacticians in the New York metropolitan area, Cluess will inherit a Gaels team ready to win immediately. Iona went 21-10 last year under former coach Kevin Willard, who recently replaced Bobby Gonzalez at Seton Hall. The Gaels will also return one of the best guards in the conference in sophomore Scott Machado.

The decision to hire Cluess over Louisville assistant Steve Masiello was a strong indication that Iona athletic director Pat Lyons wanted a proven head coach for the position. Even though he's been at a Division II school the past four seasons, Cluess has accomplished what can be called nothing short of remarkable.

After inheriting a team that went on to finish below .500 in his first season, Cluess posted a 98-23 record over a four-year period at C.W. Post, highlighted by a 30-1 mark in 2008-09. This past year, Cluess guided his team to a 23-6 record in which they won 19 of their final 21 games.

Prior to coaching on the college level, Cluess spent 19 years as head coach of St. Mary's High School in Manhasset.