Update 4:09pm–

According to the Times Union, Mitch Buonaguro would be very interested in the job. The NY Times is reporting that Iona coach Kevin Willard has been hired at Seton Hall. Read More »

Here’s Siena’s offical press release:

Iowa Set to Name McCaffery Men’s Basketball Coach McCaffery to be Introduced at News Conference Monday in Iowa City

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The University of Iowa will name Fran McCaffery as its next head men’s basketball coach in a Monday morning press conference tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. central time (12 p.m. eastern) in Iowa City, according to the university’s website. Siena representatives will be made available at a press event in the Alumni Recreation Center on the Siena College campus Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Siena Director of Athletics John D’Argenio made the following statement. “On behalf of the Siena community I would like to congratulate Fran on being named the head coach at Iowa. I thank him for his dedication and commitment to Siena basketball the past five years and for his commitment to the values and traditions of Siena College. When Fran accepted the opportunity to coach at Siena, we knew that he was a skilled coach, recruiter and mentor and that he could help us bring success back to Siena basketball. His accomplishments brought national recognition to Siena and instilled pride in the campus and Capital District community.”

The Siena administration and student-athletes will make no further comments until Monday’s press event.

McCaffery led the Saints to a 112-51 record in his five seasons at Siena, including three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament and a pair of First Round victories.

McCaffery guided Siena to 27 wins each of the past two seasons, tying the program’s single season record. The 2009-10 team finished 27-7 overall and 17-1 in the MAAC, capturing both the regular season and tournament championships for a third straight season.

A Philadelphia area native, McCaffery previously had head coaching experience at Lehigh and UNC-Greensboro before arriving in Loudonville.

Update 1:33pm–

Siena’s Athletic Director John D’Argenio released an official statement;

There are many questions about Fran and his future and about the course of action Siena may take. Out of respect to him, his family and others we will hold any comments until the appropriate time.

Original Post–

According to Doug Gottlieb at ESPN, Fran McCaffery has accepted the head coaching job at Iowa University. An official announcement is expected tomorrow. Kudos to Pete Iorizzo, who pinpointed earlier in the week that the Big Ten school was on the coach’s radar.

“There are many questions about Fran and his future and about the course of action Siena may take. Out of respect to him, his family and others we will hold any comments until the appropriate time.”

To the fan that doesn’t know Siena all too well, here’s the the thirty thousand foot view– It’s pretty remarkable what Fran McCaffery was able to accomplish in 5 seasons. He took a program that was in the dumps in 2005 and brought the team to 4 MAAC title games, 3 NCAA Tournaments, and 2 second round appearances. He brought the program so much respect that literally nobody wanted to schedule Siena this past off-season.

We polled our readers earlier this week and 61% of you believed that Fran would leave this off-season. Unfortunately, you were right.

I too have said countless times that this would be the year he goes. Think about it from his perspective– his stock will never be higher than it is right now. With three starters leaving, and a bench that probably played a combined average of 40 minutes per game, it will take 2-3 years to build the program’s prestige level back to where it is right now. Granted, the big three always gave us the best chance to win playing 34 minutes a game, but it’s short term gain for long term pain.

I can say one thing for sure– these kids will be fine. Personally, I know they all have great heads on their shoulders, and we should all look forward to an exciting competitive season next year, regardless of who gets the new job. There’s a lot of raw talent on that bench, and it’s going to be an interesting transition year.

Well with that out of the way, let’s get back to reality… let the job search begin. Who should Siena hire? Leave your thoughts in the comments…