OFFICIAL: Fano Named Head Basketball Coach at Saint Mary’s University (MN)

Following up on a story from earlier today (Saint Mary’s University Search Update)…

Dr. Timothy Gossen, Saint Mary’s vice president for Mission and Student Life at , announced Monday that Joe Fano has been named the Cardinals’ new head coach.

“Joe’s experience, excellent reputation, and valuable connections made him a perfect fit for this position, and we hope his winning traditions continue at Saint Mary’s,” Gossen said. “We are excited for what he can bring to our Cardinal men’s basketball program.”

“I would like to thank Interim athletic director Nick Winecke, Father Burns, Tim Gossen and the entire search committee for welcoming me into the Cardinal family, Fano said. “Everyone I came across on campus made me feel comfortable throughout the process. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to lead the Saint Mary’s University men’s basketball team.

“Our program will have high character student-athletes who will compete with energy, toughness, and discipline that all of Saint Mary’s supporters can be proud of.”

Fano comes to Saint Mary’s having spent two seasons as the associate head men’s basketball coach at North Park University. In his first year at NP, the Vikings closed out the year with an 18-8 overall record. The Vikings were ranked as high as ninth by, earned a share of the Collegiate Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) regular-season title for the first time in 30 years, and collected its first CCIW tournament appearance in program history.

Prior to his stint at North Park, Fano served as an assistant coach for Benedictine University, where he helped lead the team to a combined 49-10 record in his two seasons—including a near-undefeated 2015-16 season in which BU earned a No. 1 national ranking by, as well as back-to-back Northern Athletics Conference championships, and the program’s first-ever NCAA Division III Final Four appearance.

In addition Fano coached three student-athletes who earned All-NACC First Team conference honors, including Lucas Johnson, who was named the National Player of the Year. Benedictine finished the year as the top Division III team in total assists, assists per game, rebounding margin, defensive rebounds per game, field goal percentage defense and set school records for wins, win streak, win percentage, points in a season, 3-pointers, total rebounds, and blocked shots. All of this ocurred while reaching their first NCAA Final Four in program history.
Fano also boasts 12 years as a high school varsity assistant coach. He began as the varsity assistant at Gordon Tech High School in 1996, where he helped lead the team to a pair of regional championships in eight seasons. Fano has also served as the head coach for the Mercury Elite AAU 16U and 17U.

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