A holiday greeting to friends in the coaching profession…
Happy Holiday shout-out to Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
Hoosier Holiday greetings to Tom Crean at IU. Crean gave me my start at Michigan State University.
Merry Christmas to John Groce, former Ohio State, Xavier and Butler assistant coach who is doing a great job at Ohio U. I have known John for a while; ever since that day in 2001 when I met him at Butler, he’s been great to me ever since. One of the hardest workers in the profession.
To Josh Pastner at Memphis who is one of most sincere people in the profession. Met him in 1999, we’ve been friends ever since. Shows so much passion for the job.
John Dunne at St. Peter’s who hired me when Bob Leckie stepped down in 2005. Dunne would’ve been a great guy to work for. He took the Peacocks to the NCAA tournament last season.
Can’t leave off Thad Matta at Ohio State. Thad’s always been a friend ever since the first day I met him, over 12 years ago while he was recruiting East Lansing Trojan, Thomas Jackson.
To long time friend Glen Bracia head coach at Saint Francis College of Brooklyn. He played in a summer league that I organized way back in the day.
Happy Holidays to Stan Heath at South Florida.
To Scott Spinelli at Maryland he let me stay in his hotel room at two different Final Fours. I still don’t know why he had the lights low and he wanted us to be quiet during the day!
Scott Drew at Baylor who has always been a good guy. Actually said a prayer for me over the phone when I was applying for a coaching job…I got hired a few days later.
Here’s one for Dave Rice at UNLV who has the Rebels off and running in his first season. I had the chance to give him a ride to Ruby Tuesday’s one night after a UNLV shoot-around back in 2001.
To Sean Miller at Arizona. He showed me something when scouting a high school player. Keep stats of the player you are recruiting.
Happy Holidays to the Spring Arbor guys; Creighton Burns, we had a great time eating Pancakes at the i-hop. Ryan Cottingham and Brian Snyder two grinders.
A huge greeting to Cornell Mann, assistant coach at Iowa State he let me stay at his apartment while I was taking classes at CMU back in 2003.
Merry Christmas to Mike Geary, women’s assistant coach at University of Detroit.
Another huge greeting for my main man Carlos Briggs, assistant coach at U of D. He recruited Nick Minnerath hard when I was coach at JCC. Briggs was the only coach to see something in ‘Big Nick’.
Shout out to Kevin Mondro, assistant coach at EMU. Always good for a compelling conversation. Sincere dude.
Jerry Wainwright, who gave me a ride from the donut shot to camp at 5-Star. Has always sent me great motivational material.
To Anthony Solomon, my guy at ND.
Bob Hurley, who I was able to have lunch with last year. It was a sit down I will never forget. To Herb Welling, one of the most passionate basketball people I know.
A warm greeting to Glenn Thomas, who is coaching JV basketball at FDR. Guy has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the game.
To Nate Oates, at Romulus HS doing a great job. He shows up to a game with his team wearing a sweatsuit…goes into the locker room and appears with a beautiful looking suit. By far best dressed HS coach in Michigan.
Merry Christmas to Carlton Valentine at Sexton High School.
To Danny Carr, assistant coach at Waverly High School. First HS coach I met when I moved to Michigan.
To a good man in Greg Mitchell at Laingsburg H.S. always good for a conversation on the game of basketball.
To Brian Tass, Pat Henry, Doug Brotheron, Commander King, Matt Grahn, Coach Deforest, Steven Groothuis and all my coaching buddies on Twitter.
Happy holidays to a courageous man, Marc Comstock. I met him while taking classes at CMU.
Darren Savino at Cincy, hope your Holiday is a good one and you guys are past that ugly brawl.
To NBA guys like Mike Longabardi, who has paid his dues to get to the top but has never ‘big-timed’ anyone. To Paul Rivers and Bill Bayno; coaches that still reach out. Rivers let me stay at his place overnight when I was taking classes at CMU. Billy allowed me to stay at his place at UMass when we took a trip to Amherst. Can’t lave off Lawrence Frank of the Detroit Pistons. Met him a clinic in October and he was very cordial. Nice email exchange since. Guy paid his dues and knows what it likes to work hard.
Former coach Bob Leckie who hired me at Saint Peter’s. It was my first D-1 coaching gig. He took a chance on me. I will never forget it.
To Rich Zvosec, working hard every day. Enjoy our daily conversations. He has a great take on things.
Bill Stein, former Georgetown assistant coach and former A.D. at Saint Peter’s.
Merry Christmas to Doug Noll, Ed Klimkowski (The Real Coach K), Ronnie Ganulin, Gus Ganakis and Jeff McDonald
To Danny Pisselli who gave me my start at the high school level.
Art Frank, retired coach that visits the coffee shop daily. Good guy to talk hoops with.
Juco coaches like Steve Schmidt at Mott and Mike Ingram at Lansing CC who beat me in all 12 meetings while I was head coach at Jackson CC. Thanks guys, that’s 12 losses on my resume from two friends. Merry Christmas.
To Coach Welch at KVCC, another good guy.
Christmas shout-out to Cleveland State assistant coach L.D. a guy who has done it the right way and has always been down-to-earth.
To Everick Sullivan, a true friend who will never be accused of big timing anyone.
Bakari Alexander at Michigan. One of the best people you will ever meet in the coaching business. Will be a head coach soon.
Merry Christmas to Joe Pechota, another coach who trusted me to stay at his house while I worked 5-Star basketball camp.
John ‘Sarge’ Siers. “Coaching is coaching, right Steve?” Was his line to me one day. Boy was he right.
Merry Christmas to Ray McCallum of the University of Detroit.
Merry Christmas to Billy Donlan at Wright State – another great dude.
Happy holidays to Louie Orr at Bowling Green. Had a great interview with him; thought I had the job but it was ok. Maybe someday?
Can’t forget about Jim Larranaga; we went on a recruiting trip but in between we took in a movie. Big film guy.
Doc Sadler of Nebraska who gave out his cell phone at a clinic this past October. Good dude.
To Jeff Smith of Cal-Riverside. Another guy that let me stay at his place a few years back when I was taking classes at CMU.
Happy Holidays to Jerry Hobbie, former Fordham Ram now an assistant at SMU.
Merry Christmas to Donnie Jones at UCF. Keep kicking ass. Good dude.
To Charlie Coles at Miami of Ohio. Merry Christmas, you were magnificent at the U of D clinic two years ago. You do it the right way.
Rob Senderoff at Kent State. Another guy who has been a friend.
To the entire Oakland U staff. Great guys willing to share.
Merry Christmas to Tommy Amaker at Harvard who once wrote me back when I was seeking a job. That shows a lot when you write someone back.
To Darren Kohne and Ernie Ziegler at CMU. They run a great Team Camp.
To women’s assistant coach at UCF, Bob Starkey.
Happy holidays to Jim Boone.
A holiday cheer out West to Clarence Gaines (wish I could have met his late dad – seemed like a great coach but a better person).
Holiday greetings to Ray Lokar, who introduced me to PCA; totally changed me as a coach.
Merry Christmas straight out of Brooklyn to Ziggy, who gave me an opportunity with Brooklyn USA.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore