Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Quinnipiac search reportedly down to four

Quinnipiac's search for a new head coach has apparently zeroed in on four names.

Per sources, the finalists to take over the reins of the Bobcats are John Becker, Baker Dunleavy, Jared Grasso and Travis Steele.

Becker, 48, has spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Vermont, winning at least 20 games each year since taking over in 2011. This season, he guided the Catamounts to an undefeated season in the America East Conference, highlighted by a 21-game win streak and conference championship before losing to Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Becker is also reportedly under consideration for the vacant head coaching position at the University of Massachusetts, who is seeking a successor to Derek Kellogg.

Dunleavy has recently emerged as a favorite of sorts. The 34-year-old has spent the past seven seasons on Jay Wright's staff at Villanova, beginning as the director of basketball operations before being promoted to associate head coach in 2013. The son of longtime NBA head coach Mike Dunleavy, now the head coach at Tulane, SNY's Adam Zagoria reported on Tuesday that Baker would be meeting with Quinnipiac president John Lahey.

A Quinnipiac Hall of Famer and Class of 2002 alumnus, Grasso played for Joe DeSantis in Hamden before beginning his own coaching career, which has seen him serve as the associate head coach at Iona College since 2010. While at Iona, Grasso has played an integral part in helping head coach Tim Cluess turn the Gaels into a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference powerhouse, serving as both the lead recruiter and an astute X-and-O mind behind Iona's three conference championships and having reached the postseason in every year of his seven-season tenure, having recruited and developed All-MAAC talent the likes of Mike Glover, Lamont "Momo" Jones, David Laury, Sean Armand, A.J. English, Isaiah Williams and Jordan Washington, among others.

Steele, 34, has been on the coaching staff at Xavier; where Quinnipiac athletic director Greg Amodio worked as an assistant AD, since 2008. Formerly the director of basketball operations under Sean Miller, Steele was promoted to assistant coach the following season when Chris Mack replaced Miller.

Quinnipiac began their head coaching search on March 7, when Tom Moore was fired after ten seasons, posting a record of 162-150.

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