Steve Masiello is officially the men’s basketball coach at Manhattan College again.
The school reinstated the embattle headman on June 6 after Masiello officially completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky. Masiello, who will be entering his fourth season with the Jaspers, has been on leave without pay since late March after it was revealed he lied on his résumé about graduating from Kentucky, where he was on the basketball team from 1996-2000. The coach again expressed his appreciation of a second chance.
“I am extremely grateful to Manhattan for the opportunity to return as its men’s basketball coach,” Masiello said in a statement. “I also am happy to have completed the requirements for my degree.”
He was ready to leave Riverdale and set to sign a five-year, $5 million contract to take over as coach of at the University of South Florida before all of this occurred. A standard background check by South Florida discovered the discrepancy in his résumé. The job has since been given to Orlando Antigua, a former Kentucky assistant and St. Raymond hoops stand out.
Masiello is coming off leading the Jaspers to their first MAAC tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance in a decade. The former Jaspers assistant under Bobby Gonzalez is 60-39 during his time as head coach. The school felt his actions did not warrant dismissal. Associate head coach Matt Grady was placed in charge of the program until Masiello was reinstated.
“We are happy to have coach Masiello back on campus,” Manhattan College Director of Athletics Noah D. LeFevre said. “We are pleased he was able to complete his academic requirements in order to enable his return. His presence will greatly benefit our men’s basketball student-athletes and the entire program.”
The Jaspers improved in Masiello’s absence. Assistant coach Rasheen Davis was instrumental in bringing 6-foot-9 Cincinnati transfer and former Benjamin Cardozo forward Jermaine Lawrence to Riverdale next season, according to reports. He chose to transfer upon learning his father is battling cancer. Lawrence is expected to file a hardship waiver in hopes of playing right away.
He joins a strong returning core that includes senior forwards Emmy Andujar and Ashton Pankey and guard Shane Richards and RaShawn Stores. The Jaspers expect to again contend for the conference title.