Iowa Basketball Officially Announces Fran McCaffery As New Head Coach

B.Senior Analyst IMarch 28, 2010

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 20: Head coach Fran McCaffery of the Siena Saints gestures from the sidelines during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the first round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the University of Dayton Arena on March 20, 2009 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Rumors began circulating Sunday morning that the University of Iowa had finally made their choice for the new head coach of the men's basketball program.

Today, Iowa's athletic director Gary Barta confirmed that his search had yielded a candidate. Barta is set to announce Siena head coach Fran McCaffery as the next head coach at Iowa.

McCaffrey will be formally introduced at a press conference tentatively set for 11 a.m. on Monday in Iowa City, IA.

The story gained momentum on Saturday afternoon when a Fox Sports reporter Jeff Goodman tweeted, "I've been told by sources not to discount Fran McCaffery from the equation at Iowa."

Saturday night, the story gained even more momentum when the Albany Times-Union McCaffery was “in the mix” for the open position.

The fire behind the story started burning brighter Sunday morning when rumors hit Twitter.  That's when Cedar Rapids Gazette 's Scott Dochertman picked up the Time-Union story.

The story exploded into a raging inferno from there. The Boston Globe , ESPN, and several other publications started releasing their own stories. 

Once the Iowa press caught wind, more information began to confirm the rumors.

Reports surfaced that McCaffery met with Siena players and informed them he was leaving for Iowa. Then, reports of a flight from Cedar Rapids to Albany popped up (Flight Aware confirmed the flight).

Not long after word of the flight broke out, Iowa released its official statement.

McCaffery has a 14-year coaching record of 251-178, and was an assistant coach at Notre Dame for ten years prior to his head coaching experience. The press release states that McCaffery was a former assistant coach for Digger Phelps at Notre Dame and "has made five trips to the NCAA tournament with three different programs."

Siena finished with a 27-7 record this year. Their season ended with a loss to Purdue in the NCAA Tournament.

McCaffery is described as smart guy with a friendly personality who is great with boosters and favors an up-tempo offense.  In many pictures, he is seen hugging his players. 

He is also known as a top-notch recruiter, something Sports Illustrated confirmed by ranking Siena No. 20 in their 2009 scouting report.

His current contract at Siena pays him roughly $500,000 a year. The terms of his contract were not officially released by the school, but his buyout is rumored to be around $2 million.

Reaction in the Hawkeye community could be best described as cautiously optimistic. Most fans (along with local reporters) didn't seem this name coming, and are just starting their due diligence in forming their opinions. 

McCaffery's wife, Marg, seems to be a fan favorite, though.

For more updates on the Iowa Hawkeyes' new head coach, follow @iowahawkeyes on Twitter .