Siena’s Francis tabbed as McCaffery assistant


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One of the three available assistant coaching positions on Fran McCaffery’s staff was filled on Thursday.

Ten days after McCaffery was introduced as Iowa’s new men’s basketball coach, Andrew Francis has been named to one of the assistant-coach positions, effective immediately.

Francis spent the past three years as an assistant for McCaffery at Siena, and the Saints won the Metro Atlantic Athletic title and qualified for the NCAA Tournament all three seasons.

Before that, the native of Brooklyn, N.Y., worked at Villanova on Jay Wright’s staff as an administrative assistant and video coordinator.

His other coaching duties include being a volunteer assistant coach at Concordia College, the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Mt. St. Vincent College, and time as a volunteer assistant for the Westchester Wildfire of the United States Basketball League.

Francis is a 1998 graduate of Long Island University-Southampton, where he played for former NBA player Sidney Green, now a player development assistant for the Chicago Bulls.

“I’m excited and honored to have this opportunity at a great institution like the University of Iowa,” Francis said in a statement released Thursday. “I have met so many wonderful people during the interview process. It’s been a calming and welcoming feeling that I have received from everybody since arriving on campus.

“I felt welcome even before I got here.”

In the same release, McCaffery described Francis as “the complete package.”

“He’s a tremendous coach and excellent recruiter,” McCaffery said. “His scouting reports are incredibly thorough, and his on-the-court teaching is spectacular.”

Neither Francis nor McCaffery could be reached for further comment. Men’s basketball sports information director Matt Weitzel told The Daily Iowan McCaffery was visiting with one of Iowa’s incoming recruits on Thursday and that Francis “may have” gone along as well.

Weitzel also said while no timetable has been set to fill the remaining two spots on McCaffery’s staff, announcements should come within the next couple weeks.

Mitch Buonaguro, an assistant at Siena under McCaffery, was one name rumored to follow him to Iowa. However, Buonaguro was named McCaffery’s successor at Siena on Thursday.

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