Steve Masiello, Manhattan
The Manhattan Jaspers were picked to finish No. 8 in the MAAC this year, and rightly so. The Jaspers had mainly the same squad as last year's 6-25 team, plus they had a rookie head coach at the helm.
However, this coach, Steve Masiello, has already doubled Manhattan's win total from last year. The Jaspers currently stand at 12-7.
Masiello has led Manhattan into a tie for second place through more than a third of conference play, and the Jaspers have already knocked off the preseason No. 1 and No. 2 teams, Iona and Fairfield. His squad is a buzzer-beater away from being in control of first place in the MAAC.
Purely in terms of the best coaching job, Masiello is No. 1, although Jimmy Patsos and Tim Cluess are not far behind.
Jimmy Patsos, Loyola (MD)
Patsos' squad was picked to finish No. 3 in the MAAC in the preseason, but there were still many MAAC fans who doubted Loyola, even after its 8-1 start.
Loyola is currently 12-5 and stands in second place in the MAAC at 5-2. It has beaten two of the top four teams (Manhattan and Fairfield) and nearly beat Iona on Sunday.
If the Greyhounds finish in the top two in the MAAC, Patsos will be a very legitimate candidate for Coach of the Year.
Tim Cluess, Iona
Iona has been slightly disappointing this year, but there is no doubt that the job Cluess has done has been well above average.
The Gaels are clearly the dominant team in the MAAC despite losing at home to Manhattan. They nearly knocked off Purdue in Puerto Rico and ended up picking up some nice wins in non-conference play.
However, in order for Cluess to get the award, Iona will have to win the conference. Not fulfilling expectations will leave him as a runner-up.