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Former UMaine coach John Giannini receives multiyear contract at La Salle

Yong Kim | MCT
Yong Kim | MCT
La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini calls a time out early in the second half against Wichita State in NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 action at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Thursday, March 28, 2013.

PHILADELPHIA — La Salle University and John Giannini have reached a multiyear agreement that should keep Giannini as the head men’s basketball coach at La Salle for years to come, Director of Athletics Tom Brennan announced Thursday in a press release.

Details of the contract were not disclosed.

Giannini is a former University of Maine men’s basketball head coach. He compiled a 125-111 record in eight seasons at Maine, including a school-record 24-7 campaign during 1999-2000.

“This past season was an outstanding one for our men’s basketball team, reaching the Sweet 16 and ending the season with a national ranking,” Brennan said. “More importantly, Dr. John has built a program on and off the court that gives everyone associated with La Salle great pride.

“John is a proponent of the student-athlete experience, which is very important at La Salle,” Brennan continued. “We are proud to have him leading our program and look forward to his continued success.”

“I am delighted that John and the University have reached this accord,” La Salle University President Brother Michael J. McGinniss said. “He has done a remarkable job building our men’s basketball program. The team reaching the Sweet 16 in this year’s NCAA tournament is proof of that. I am also proud of the academic success that our student-athletes have achieved during John’s tenure.”

“I am honored to coach at La Salle,” Giannini said. “Brother President McGinniss and Dr. Brennan have given me a great opportunity and tremendous support.

“I am deeply invested in our program and student-athletes. Our program is forming a pattern of consistent success on and off the court that we are eager to build on.”

This past season, Giannini guided the Explorers to a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance with three wins in five days and a No. 24 national ranking in the final USA Today/Coaches Poll. He was also named the Philadelphia Big 5 Coach of the Year after leading the Explorers to a share of the City Series title.

La Salle’s 24 wins in 2012-13 were the seventh most in the program’s 82-year history and the most since 1990.

The success in the NCAA Tournament came one year after Giannini led the Explorers to a 21-win season and trip to the NIT.

The back-to-back 20-win campaigns have added to a pattern of consistent success during Giannini’s tenure. In the last eight seasons, La Salle has posted five records of .500 or better in Atlantic 10 play. Only three A-10 programs have exceeded that mark.

Giannini enters the 2013-14 season with a 440 career wins, second among active Atlantic 10 coaches. His 143 wins at La Salle are third all-time in program history.

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