“It’s done. It’s going to be Iowa,” a source with knowledge said Sunday morning in breaking the news exclusively to ZAGSBLOG.com.
Iowa has set a noon press conference for Monday.
“On behalf of the Siena community I would like to congratulate Fran on being named the head coach at Iowa,” Siena AD John D’Argenio said in a statement.
“I thank him for his dedication and commitment to Siena basketball the past five years and for his commitment to the values and traditions of Siena College. When Fran accepted the opportunity to coach at Siena, we knew that he was a skilled coach, recruiter and mentor and that he could help us bring success back to Siena basketball. His accomplishments brought national recognition to Siena and instilled pride in the campus and Capital District community.”
Mitch Buonaguro, McCaffery’s top assistant and the former head coach at Fairfield, told the Albany Times-Union he would “very interested” in the job.
“I would love it,” Buonaguro told the Times Union Sunday. “Hopefully I get a chance to interview and talk to the people here.”
McCaffery, 50, had also been a leading candidate at both St. John’s and Seton Hall. He met Saturday with St. John’s AD Chris Monasch in the New York area.
Shortly after the McCaffery news broke, former Iona coach Kevin Willard became the new Seton Hall coach.
St. John’s is involved with Al Skinner of Boston College, Fran Dunphy of Temple and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin, who may now be the favorite.
McCaffery has led the Saints to three straight NCAA tournament appearances and was 112-51 at Siena.
The Saints went 27-7 this season, falling to Purdue in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 72-64.
According to the Albany Times Union, McCaffery made $360,000 in 2008 and can expect a major raise. Former Iowa coach Todd Lickliter, fired after three losing seasons, reportedly earned $1.2 million a year at the Big 10 program.