Orange Fizz


Gerry McNamara to Siena is Official

19 seasons with Syracuse Men’s Basketball. Four as a player, two as a graduate assistant, 12 as an assistant coach, one as Adrian Autry’s Associate Head Coach. Gerry McNamara has meant so much to SU, for his riveting play style on the court and his guard development off it. That time has come to an end, as McNamara has officially taken the Head Coaching job at Siena College just outside of Albany.

After Autry was named Jim Boeheim’s replacement, there was a simple question surrounding GMac. How long would he wait around? He had been mentioned as a potential replacement for years, there were even rumors (very much unproven) that Boeheim wanted him to take the load. Alas, that didn’t happen. McNamara ultimately spent just one more year at Syracuse, albeit in a bigger role, before finding greener pastures.

McNamara takes the helm of Siena after its old Head Coach Carmen Maciarello was canned after five seasons. In those five seasons, the Saints had a winning record in four of them, including a 20-10 record in 2019-20. They were the top-seed in the MAAC Tournament that year, but it was ultimately cancelled due to COVID. Maciarello never got Siena back to that level, culminating in a disastrous 4-28 campaign this year.

That’s quite the load for McNamara to fill. The Saints haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2010 (again, who knows what could’ve happened in 2020) but this hire instantly makes them a bigger threat to make a run in the MAAC. If McNamara hones in what made him a successful assistant at Syracuse (hello Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard), recruiting guards becomes a lot easier. This is nowhere near a Fran Brown level jump from not having a coordinator position to instantly becoming Head Coach. This is a perfect opportunity for McNamara to make a name for himself as the man in charge.

So what does Syracuse do to fill the void? Truth be told, the Orange don’t need another coach to develop guards. Brendan Straughn was a four-year starter at guard in Division III, it would certainly seem like he knows a thing or two about improving guard play. Allen Griffin was also a guard, even though his specialty has been coaching big men recently. This is not a knock on AG, but it’s time for that to change. Bringing in an assistant coach who has experience playing in the post at the Division I level is the best route to take.

While it stinks to see Gerry McNamara go, there shouldn’t be any bad blood. Why should there be? He poured his heart and soul into the program for 19 years as both a player and assistant, and now he’s getting rewarded. GMac, thank you for all you’ve done for the program.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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