I think they’ll regret that move. He pulled off one amazing win, but all in all it was really a pretty bad team that couldn’t even win a weak conference; they got in the Dance because the tournament winner is new to D-I and thus ineligible.
FDU did play FAU very hard and had a chance to win the game. More importantly, the guy did it with even worse talent than he should be able to reasonably get at Iona. He’s basically got the same situation at Iona as FDU-win the conference tournament or hope you won enough games to make the NIT. Iona gets a minor splash hire without spending a whole lot of money with a reasonable chance of continued success. The coach gets a little better money, slightly better resources, and a chance to supplement the portal transfers from a better recruiting area, and maybe a chance to move up again in a few years.
I don’t see the hire as a big reach by a school that plays in a weak mid-major conference, certainly no more than hiring an assistant from a school in a Power or higher mid-major conference with no record as a head coach. Another Rick Pitino was not going to fall into their lap.
I live 20 miles from Iona and go to a game there occasionally. I started doing that back when Jeff Ruland was the head coach. Iona plays a good brand of basketball for a relatively small (undergrad enrollment 2700) northeastern school. In their world, Iona basketball is a pretty big deal and they build a good bit of student excitement around that. Iona is definitely a step up from FDU.
I’m so old I remember when Jeff Ruland played at Iona and in the NBA. I think he played for Jim Valvano when he was at Iona. Ruland was in that Joe Kleine mode as a center. I like Iona’s unique nickname-Gaels.