McMaster University men’s’ basketball coach Joe Raso is out after 18 years with the program.
Mac’s director athletics and recreation Jeff Giles said today that Raso’s contract, which was renewed on a yearly basis, was not extended for the 2010-11 season.
“We wanted to take the program in a different direction and we felt that we needed a new coach to ensure that we got there,” Giles said. “It’s simply a basketball decision and a desire to take our program to the next level.”
This season, McMaster finished third in the eight-team OUA West with a 14-8 record before being upset in the quarter-final by Waterloo.
“The past couple of years haven’t been his best years,” Giles said.
Raso was the head coach at Mac for eighteen years and had a win/loss record of 193-88. He guided the Marauders to three OUA championships, 12 national finals and four national championship games.
Calls to Raso were not immediately returned.
Giles said the search for a replacement has already begun, though he stressed there is no timeline.
“We’d like to have a coach that has a track record of success on the court but a big part of the job is also the relationship with the community and the ability to promote McMaster basketball,” Giles said.
The decision to part ways with Raso was a tough one, Giles admitted.
“His contribution to McMaster has been significant. The basketball tradition we have here is in large part because of Joe Raso and what he’s accomplished,” he said. “But there’s always time for a change and I thought that time was now.”