Iona’s Cluess Selected The Rock MAAC Coach of the Year

Courtesy:  MAAC Sports
Release:  March 07, 2014
Courtesy: MAAC Sports

SPRINGFIELD, MASS.  – Iona College‘s Tim Cluess has been selected The Rock MAAC Coach of the Year, chosen in a vote of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s head coaches.

Cluess, in his fourth season at Iona, guided the Gaels to the MAAC’s regular season championship with a 17-3 record. Iona posted a 20-9 record overall, the fourth consecutive year that Cluess has led the Gaels to 20-or more victories.

In his four seasons at Iona, Cluess has posted a 90-42 (.682) record overall, including 56-18 (.757) in MAAC regular season play. In his first four years, he has led the Gaels to a MAAC Tournament Championship, two regular season MAAC titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances, a Post Season Tournament (CIT) championship game, and consecutive 25-win seasons.

Under Cluess’ tutelage, two Iona student-athletes were chosen as MAAC Players of the Year, Lamont Jones in 2013 and Scott Machado in 2012. Those two were also selected as the Haggerty Award winners, given annually to the top collegiate player in the New York Metropolitan area.  Additionally, Cluess has mentored seven All-MAAC first team performers in his four seasons.

The Gaels closed the 2013-14 regular season by winning 12 of their final 13 games to claim the MAAC title, after going 8-8 in their first 16 games. Iona enters the 2014 MAAC Championship as the top-seed. Iona was among the national leaders in a number of statistical categories, including first in three-point field goals made per game (10.4), first in total three-point field goals made (303), fourth in assists per game (17.5), fourth in total assists (503), fourth in scoring offense (84.0ppg), and fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.63).

Last year, Cluess’ third season at Iona, the Gaels won the MAAC Championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Gaels were 11-7 in the MAAC regular season and entered the Championship as the fourth seed. Iona swept through the tournament, knocking off top-seeded Niagara in the semifinals and then scoring a 60-57 win over Manhattan in the championship game.   The Gaels received the MAAC’s automatic to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Ohio State in the second round.

In 2011-12, Cluess’ second season at the helm, he led the Gaels to a second consecutive 25-win season and the program’s first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The high-scoring Gaels led the NCAA in points per game (82.9) and assists per game (19.3). Additionally, Machado was nation’s leader in assists with 9.3 per game.  

In his first season at Iona, Cluess guided the Gaels to a 25-12 record and appearances in both the MAAC championship game and the CIT title game.

Prior to coming to Iona, Cluess was head coach at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, N.Y. for 14 seasons (1991-2005), where he compiled a 265-78 record. He then served one season (2005-06) as head coach at Suffolk Community College, guiding the Sharks to a 22-10 record, followed by four seasons (2006-10) at C.W. Post. He led the Pioneers to a 98-23 (.810) mark and two appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Cluess attended St. John’s from 1978-81 before completing his coursework at Hofstra from 1982-83. He played professionally in both Australia and Europe following his undergraduate career.

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