New Yorker Coffino’s résumé includes spells coaching in the NBA Development League and the NCAA Division One. He will work with last season’s Head Coach, John Lavery and Mike Burton as his assistants.
Coffino’s career has seen him spend nine years coaching top-level college basketball programmes with NCAA Division One teams Iona College, Niagara University and St Peter’s College where he coached teams in the March Madness tournament.
He also spent two years in charge of the Albuquerque Thunderbirds between 2008 and 2010. Coffino coached them to a league record 16-game winning streak on their way to a third placed finish in his first season in the Southwestern Division.
Recently he has been Head Coach with the Dankind Academy in Nairobi, Kenya. The Community sports programme offers victims of poverty and refugees in West Africa the opportunity to play basketball and receive high-quality coaching and support that could help them forge a career in sport, either at home or abroad, to benefit their families and communities.
“We are pleased to announce John Coffino as our new Head Coach,” said Phoenix chairman Andrew Donaldson. “Today is an exciting day for this organisation. We are thrilled that we have reached an agreement with Coach Coffino. We are proud of the reputation we have built in a short time period, and Coach Coffino will bring his stellar reputation, along with a wide spectrum of talents, contacts and coaching experience, to our organisation with a keen focus to achieve excellence, on and off the court.
“We have every expectation that he will take us to the next level.”
The man himself said he was excited to embark on the latest new chapter of his storied coaching career, “I am thrilled and honoured to be part of the Cheshire Phoenix family,” said Coach Coffino. “I look forward to joining an already successful staff,team and organisation.
“The chance to develop players and to help expand appreciation and enjoyment of basketball in the community is an opportunity I could not turn down. I am especially pleased to associate with a franchise that embraces the local community as a valuable member of its extended family and values the development of its local youth an essential component of its overall mission.
Some notable names from the NBA who have worked with Coffino have also endorsed the move.
“Congratulations to the Cheshire Phoenix! Not only have you hired a great coach and teacher but also a person of high character and integrity. Coach Coffino will not be outworked,” said Mitch Kupchak, General Manager of the Los Angeles Lakers Bob Hill, former coach of the New York Knick, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs, and the Seattle Supersonics said: “The Cheshire Phoenix have hired a terrific person as well as an outstanding coach! Congratulations on an excellent hire!”
And Jeff Ruland, NBA All Star and former coach at the Philadelphia 76ers stated, “I have known John for over 20 years. He is a tireless worker and has great people skills. Cheshire is very lucky to have him.”
“The coaching staff in place has already laid the foundations,” he said. “They have made some key signings for the team’s future which is a start in the right direction. Hats off to Coach John Lavery, Mike Burton, Andy Green, Deborah Nash and the great Robbie Peers. Together we will build a team which can compete with anyone in the league.
“I would like to put on record my thanks too to Chairman Andrew Donaldson and the Phoenix board in having the confidence that I can lead this club to success. I am forever grateful at the opportunity.”
Coach Coffino will be arriving in the UK in early September and in the meantime he will be working with club officials here and scouts and agents across the globe to identify talented players to build the roster and prepare the Nix for the 2014/15 campaign
Story BBL / Cheshire Phoenix
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