Nick McAdam, Tangerine Clerk
Men’s assistant basketball coach John Mullane was hired during the summer of 2018 to help with recruiting, scouting, practices and game operations.
Prior to Mullane’s position with the Pioneers, he spent time as an assistant coach at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts. He also spent four years as a member of the Elmira College basketball team, where he played in 82 career games.
The new coaching staff member is looking to work wonders with the Pioneers as the team opened with a 4-1 start. The Pioneers won four straight games, including an impressive 72-56 win over Cazenovia College, only to drop their recent game to Hamilton College.
Head coach Sean Coffey explained that Mullane has the credentials that make him more than qualified for the job.
“He’s taken the task of working with our post players, and I can see the obvious improvements in those players from previous years and as freshmen just getting better and more confident in themselves,” Coffey said. “He has a good way with young people. They enjoy being coached by him and respect his abilities. They give him max effort and focus. That can be a major challenge of any age these days.”
Mullane’s impact has been felt on players such as junior Hunter Remley. In his career, the guard has collected a total of 434 points and 154 total rebounds.
The veteran guard had plenty of positive remarks about his new coach.
“He’s pretty laid back off the court, but on the court, he gives a lot of great advice, especially on the sidelines,” Remley said. “He brings a sense of maturity and has made an impact on the team.”
Mullane himself had plenty of reasons to take the job with the Pioneers. Part of the credit goes to Coffey, but the growth of the college as a whole had an impact on his decision to join the team.
“Coach Coffey has a history of being a part of smart and successful teams that can make it to the NCAA tournament,” Mullane said. “I also noticed that this school and campus were on the rise.”
Mullane also appreciates the upgrades to the bleachers by Miga Court and the newly refurbished dome, as well as the campus initiatives to create the best environment possible for students, including the new construction management building and dormitories.
“I always believed that the health of a college or university is determined on if they are expanding or trying to increase their assets” Mullane said.
Mullane sees some areas of the game that need improvement, but the team’s record so far has left a huge impression on him in his first season. Going forward, he believes that there’s always room for growth, and he wants to make a deep run in the league.
“We are playing fast, but it is not exactly the speed we want it to be at every time,” Mullane said. “I think we need to improve on sharing the ball as well, we have a bunch of really talented and gifted players who can score in a variety of ways, but, at this level, scoring is not as easy as it was in high school so we have to share the ball.”
Mullane is also excited about the way that the season has started and is impressed by the team’s ability to persevere.
“The season is going great,” he said. “We have a young and determined group that is hungry for winning. They have a lot to learn about what it takes to be a successful college basketball team, but we have the tools and personnel to do so. We are most certainly getting better every time we step on the court.”