D2 NEWS: Gannon promotes Bazzoli to Head Basketball Coach

Gannon University Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk announced Tuesday that Easton Bazzoli has been named the 21st head coach in the 80-year history of the Gannon men’s basketball program. Bazzoli will be formally introduced at a press conference Thursday, April 4, in the Old Main Boardroom, beginning at 10 a.m.

Bazzoli is a familiar face, serving as an assistant coach under previous Gannon head coach Jordan Fee during the 2023-24 season. He was instrumental in leading the Golden Knights to a 32-3 overall record and a spot in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The program captured the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division regular-season, PSAC Tournament, and NCAA Division II Atlantic Region championships.

“I am beyond excited and humbled about the opportunity to take over this great program at Gannon University,” said Bazzoli. “There is not a better time than now to be tasked with leading this group of young men on and off the floor. My wife, Katrina, and daughter, Kaiya, have grown to love Erie and Gannon alike quickly after this historic season.

“I want to thank Dr. Walter Iwanenko, Dr. Sarah Ewing, Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk, and the entire Gannon community for this privilege to lead the Gannon men’s basketball program. I look forward to seeing the stands full again next season as we continue this exciting brand of basketball in Erie.”

Bazzoli was part of a Gannon coaching staff that led the Golden Knights to a school-record 32 victories last year, an improvement of 24.5 games. It represented the largest improvement in NCAA history for both men’s and women’s basketball.

“We are excited to welcome Easton Bazzoli as our next men’s basketball head coach,” said Gannon Director of Athletics Lisa Goddard McGuirk. “Easton has tremendous basketball knowledge, as well as an unwavering commitment to excellence and the student-athlete experience. We are excited for our men’s basketball program to continue its forward momentum and excel under his leadership.”

With Bazzoli on the sideline, Gannon captured its first NCAA Atlantic Regional Championship since 2009 with a 67-65 victory against the University of Charleston in front of a standing-room-only and boisterous crowd on March 19. The Golden Knights finished second in the country with 100.4 points per game, surpassing the 100-point plateau 16 times.

A native of western Pennsylvania and Cranberry Township, Pa., Bazzoli arrived at Gannon in April 2023 after spending the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at NCAA Division II Union (Tenn.) University.

Fee had high regards for Bazzoli when he joined the Golden Knights’ staff. “Having competed against him for years in the South Region during his tenure at Union University, it was obvious Coach Bazzoli is one of the top young coaches in college basketball, at any level,” said Fee upon Bazzoli’s arrival on the Gannon campus. “He is a relentless recruiter, relationship builder, and phenomenal basketball mind. Easton is a first-class human being and will be an integral part in restoring the tradition of Gannon Basketball.”

The quote proved to be on point as it’s safe to say Bazzoli was an integral part in the rebirth of Gannon men’s basketball.

Bazzoli helped Union to a 96-71 record during his six seasons at the school. The Bulldogs qualified for the Gulf South Conference (GSC) tournament during each of his final five seasons. Fee and Bazzoli crossed paths at the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Nova Southeastern, with Fee serving as an assistant coach, and Union met in the NCAA South Region semifinals. Nova Southeastern would edge the Bulldogs 81-80 to end their season at 24-9. The 24 wins were the most for a Union team since the 2010-11 season.

His ties to Western Pennsylvania include a highly acclaimed athletic career at Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, Pa., where he averaged 15.5 points and four assists as a senior. In addition to being named the Butler County Player of the Year, Bazzoli was selected to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette AAAA Fab Five and Pittsburgh Tribune Review North Fab Five squads. He was also accorded All-Section 3 first-team honors. Bazzoli played in the 2013 Roundball Classic All-Star Game and the Hoops for a Cure All-Star Game. He was ranked fifth in the Western Pennsylvania Class of 2013 by the Pittsburgh Basketball Report.

Bazzoli continued his playing career at NCAA Division II Cedarville (Ohio) University from 2013-17. The 6-foot 5-inch guard was a four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, appearing in 114 games with 95 starts. He finished his collegiate career with 973 points and 526 rebounds, along with 201 assists and 112 steals.

A two-time team captain, Bazzoli ranked third on the team in scoring (10.8 ppg), rebounding (5.3 rpg), and assists (2.2 apg) as a junior while starting 28 of 29 games. As a sophomore, he averaged 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds. Bazzoli concluded his playing days with 8.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game as a senior in 2016-17. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, Bazzoli went on a tour with Athletes in Action to New Zealand.

Bazzoli received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Cedarville in 2017, before earning his master’s degree in business administration in 2020. He and his wife, Katrina, have a daughter, Kaiya.


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