La Salle extends Giannini's contract

Posted: April 26, 2013

IN COLLEGE basketball, you often get judged by whether your team makes the NCAA Tournament and how it does when it gets there. That really does not give a complete picture, but we live in a snapshot world.

Over the last eight seasons, La Salle has been .500 or better in Atlantic 10 games five times. Only Xavier (eight), Temple (seven) and Saint Joseph's (six) have done better. Saint Louis, Massachusetts, Richmond, Dayton and Rhode Island also have five .500 or better seasons.

Even before the 2012-13 breakthrough, La Salle was gradually getting better and was competitive. If injuries had not decimated the 2009-10 team and if the Aaric Murray experiment had not gone so horribly wrong, La Salle might have actually gotten the notice it got this March a few years ago.

Well, after the three NCAA wins in 5 days and a run to the Sweet 16, the program has the notice now. And Thursday, its coach, Dr. John Giannini, was rewarded with a contract extension. Neither years nor dollars were revealed yesterday, but you can assume it was a lot of both.

"I think I have a great job," said Giannini, who led the Explorers to a 24-10 record. "It's an especially great job, because Brother Mike and Tom are good to me, and they appreciate me. When you look at the fact that you are coaching in a great league, a great city, the school has a great history and the people appreciate you, why wouldn't you be very happy?"

The business, Giannini knows, can be quite unpredictable. Something can be said for stability.

"You've seen a lot of crazy things happen in this business, a lot of things I think are unfair to a lot of coaches," Giannini said. "I think a lot of decisions are made that end up hurting programs for the long haul."

La Salle does not have the facilities or the budget of the vast majority of its A-10 competitors. But Giannini has recruited well and found a winning style for the program. That should get a coach rewarded. And it did.

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