Niagara Gazette

Sports

April 20, 2013

Purple Eagles pick new coach

Niagara Gazette — Niagara University will introduce Chris Casey as its new men's basketball coach Monday, multiple sources have confirmed.

Casey, who has been the head coach at Division II LIU-Post the past three seasons, was one of four candidates to interview for the position last week and accepted the job Friday after touring the Niagara campus with athletic director Tom Crowley.

Casey, 49, replaces Joe Mihalich, who won 256 games and led the Purple Eagles to two NCAA tournaments and three NITs in 15 seasons before being hired away by Hofstra last week.

LIU Post went 65-25 under Casey and twice qualified for the NCAA Division II championship tournament.

The coach Casey replaced at LIU Post, Tim Cluess, is currently the head coach at Iona, and reportedly turned down the Hofstra job before it was offered to Mihalich.

Prior to LIU Post, Casey spent six seasons on Norm Roberts' staff at St. John's. He previously spent three years at Central Connecticut State, where he won the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year award in 2003, three years as the head coach at Division III Rutgers-Newark and eight years as an assistant at St. Peter's.

A Brooklyn native who graduated from Western Connecticut State, Casey has also worked at St. Francis and his alma mater.

Casey will inherit a Niagara roster that won 19 games and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship with one of the 40 youngest playing rotations in the country last season. Starting center Devon White is the only rotation player who will be lost to graduation. Among those expected to return to the Purple Eagles are first-team all-MAAC guards Juan'ya Green and Antoine Mason, and all-rookie team selection T.J. Cline.

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