By Harry Allison
LaSalle is looking for a new basketball coach after firing 14-year coach John Giannini after 14 seasons.
Giannini, 55, was 199-207 heading into this past season, when the Explorers went 13-19 overall and 7-11 in the Atlantic 10. It was the third season in a row La Salle has finished .500 or below overall.
“John is a great guy, always with the best interests of his student-athletes at heart, and he did his very best to advance the men’s basketball program at La Salle,” athletic director Bill Bradshaw said in a statement. “John made academic success a big part of his coaching philosophy — 100% of the seniors he recruited have graduated, and La Salle finished in the top 10% in the nation for APR each of the past three years.
“We wish John and his family nothing but the best, and he will be remembered for his contributions to La Salle, on and off the court.”
Giannini took over the program in 2004 after Billy Hahn was forced to resign following a sexual assault scandal. Giannini helped lead La Salle to the NCAA tournament in 2013, the Explorers’ first appearance in the tournament since 1992.
They reached the Sweet 16 as a 13-seed, beating Boise State in the First Four and then knocking off Kansas State and Ole Miss before falling to Wichita State. That was the lone NCAA appearance under Giannini, although La Salle also reached the NIT in 2012.
Prior to La Salle, Giannini was the head coach at Maine for eight seasons and Division III Rowan for seven seasons. He won a D-III national championship in 1996.