Tim Cluess, Iona basketball coach, staying

Iona coach Tim Cluess directs his basketball team

Iona coach Tim Cluess directs his basketball team in the first half of a second-round NCAA Tournament game against Ohio State in Dayton, Ohio. (March 22, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Iona basketball coach Tim Cluess is staying put.

The New Rochelle school issued a news release late Saturday night announcing that Cluess “has recommitted to coaching the Gaels for at least the next five years.”

Earlier in the day, it appeared Iona might lose Cluess to Hofstra. On Friday night, Yahoo national columnist Dan Wetzel, citing an anonymous source, tweeted that Cluess, who played for the Pride and lives on Long Island, was negotiating with Hofstra. On Saturday, the New York Post reported that Iona and Hofstra were discussing a buyout of Cluess' contract, which runs through the 2016-17 season.

Cluess, 54, who led the Gaels to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, was also mentioned in media speculation as a possible successor to Mike Rice at Rutgers.

“I'm excited about the coming season and continuing to build on our success,” Cluess said in the news release. “I believe in the future of men's basketball and the College itself. President [Joseph] Nyre and the entire Iona community have been so supportive of me and our program."

In three seasons at Iona, Cluess' teams have compiled a 70-34 record. This season, the Gaels' offense led all Division I teams in scoring with 80.4 points per game. Iona lost to Ohio State last month in the NCAA Tournament, 95-70. 

"Iona is at heart a liberal arts college, but it has the commitment to doing Division I athletics the right way and making athletics an integral part of the college experience,” Cluess said. “We of course want to be successful, but we also want our student-athletes to be successful in both competition and the classroom.”

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