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Manhattan's Steve Masiello Heading to South Florida

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

Masiello will parlay a strong tournament performance into a five-year deal worth over $1M annually.

Manhattan's Steve Masiello Heading to South Florida

Even though Rick Pitino and Louisville are leaving the AAC, opposing coaches will have to deal with a newcomer that could just create the next Louisville. Steve Masiello is leaving the MAAC and heading to the AAC. Today, CBS Sports reported that Masiello accepted a five-year contract worth over $1 million a season to becoming head coach of the South Florida Bulls. This comes on the heels of a strong NCAA Tournament performance last Thursday where he nearly led his Manhattan Jaspers to a Second Round upset of fourth-seeded Louisville using his mentor Rick Pitino's principles and playing style.

Masiello did a remarkable job turning around the Manhattan program. The season prior to his takeover, the Jaspers finished 6-25 with a 3-15 conference record. In his first season, the Jaspers won 21 games and finished conference play at 12-6. Injuries plagued the Jaspers in his second season, but this year they put everything together. Manhattan went 25-7 and beat Iona in the MAAC tournament to earn their NCAA berth. Masiello was a few minutes from taking his team to the Round of 32, but his Pitino outlasted him.

South Florida had a pretty dreadful season last year that led to Stan Heath's termination, but they are only two years removed from a 12 over 5 upset of Temple in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Masiello turned around Manhattan in a single season, and the same can likely be done here. Louisville is leaving the American Athletic Conference, and while there are still solid teams at the top, there is ground to be covered quickly. The stronger conference and location in Florida (with pipelines back into the NY/NJ area) should help improve Masiello's recruiting. He can have his guys in there quickly as long as he has the support.

Masiello is already one of the top young coaches in the game, and this move gets him to a major conference to see what he can really do.

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