Say it Is so Joe!
DeSantis Era Officially Over at Quinnipiac
By: Michael Feldstein
For well over a decade, a familiar face has patrolled the hardwood at Quinnipiac University, Joe DeSantis. Last week it was announced that he would not be resigned and was relieved of his coaching duties. While there were certain ups and downs during his stay, this year more than any other probably did him in. From two freshmen urinating on a girl, to another failing to meet academic requirements to play, it seemed that discipline and order were lacking.
Being only a sophomore here, I have heard from many upperclassmen and alumni complain and wish to see coach DeSantis fired years ago. From underachieving teams to coming up one win from the programs first NCAA birth, mediocrity seemed to be a constant theme with the program under his tenure. When expectations were set high, things always seemed to take a turn for the worse. One night they would be able to compete with UConn and the next fall to some of the worst teams in the NEC.
This year situated Joe with a small leash with little margin for error. The men’s strong finish at the end of the year including a first round home playoff win seemed to perhaps seal the deal for another year for DeSantis, however, the loss to Sacred Heart, the off-court issues and the failure to live up to the programs full potential all contributed to the end of his coaching reign.
As the years go by, the DeSantis era will be remembered more for the let downs and students related problems than for what ever progress may or may not have been. With the loss of Chris Wehye, Victor Akinyanju, Van Crafton, Dale Meinbresse and the energetic Adam Gonzalez, it will be difficult to duplicate this year’s third place finish. Losing five seniors was enough going into next year let alone having to now find a new coach and assistants and somehow put together a new system in time for next year.
You might say that had DeSantis beaten CCSU four years ago in the NEC Championship game things might be different, had the players played for Joe rather than against him things might be different, but they simply aren’t and in the end Joe perhaps stayed longer than he should have.
Quinnipiac Men’s Basketball will spend the next few years looking for a new identity and try to break away from what has been a disappointing decade for the most part. Let go of Joe was the first and probably the most significant step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see how this program develops over the next few years. The question at hand though is who will be the future coach and what will he do to create a winning atmosphere and more importantly, a level of pride, respect and discipline back to QU men’s hoops?