It’s been a busy first month for Iona College men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.
Pitino, who was named head coach in March, named three coaches and a director of basketball operations to his staff, and announced the signing of eight players for the 2020-2021 season.
Tom Abatemarco, Casey Stanley and Ricky Johns were appointed to the coaching staff and all three are no strangers to the program. Abatemarco coached at Iona under Jim Valvano, and later was an assistant for Valvano’s 1983 national championship team at North Carolina State. Johns served at Iona the past three seasons under men’s basketball head coach Tim Cluess.
Stanley, an Iona graduate, grew up around Iona as the son of former longtime Iona radio play-by-play announcer Gary Stanley. The younger Stanley served on Pitino’s staff at Louisville and on the staff of Pitino’s son, Richard, at Florida International and Minnesota.
“The most important part for me was finding diversity in age and experience,” Pitino said in a press release from the college. “All three coaches also have ties to Iona College and are very experienced recruiters, which I also sought out in putting together this staff.”
Pitino also named Joey Kuhl as the program’s director of basketball operations and announced the signing of eight players for next season, including Ryan Myers of Christ the King High School.
Myers averaged 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Christ the King in 2019-2020. As a junior, he averaged 16.3 points per game and earned most valuable player for leading the Royals to the CHSAA AA state championship.
Myers is joined in the 2019-2020 recruiting class by Darreus Brown, Robert Brown and Tahlik Chavez, all of Texas; Berrick JeanLouis and Osborn Shema, both of Florida; Johan Crafoord of Sweden; and Nelly Junior Joseph of Nigeria.