“THE CONVERSATION” Episode #17, John Coffino, American & International Professional Basketball Coach

March 4, 2020

John Coffino is an American and international basketball coach. Most recently he was the head basketball coach for the men’s senior national team for the Republic of the Maldives, where he guided his team to the gold round of the regional tournament in Bangladesh.

Before joining the professional ranks, John worked nine years as a Division I assistant coach at Iona College (1997–99), Niagara University (1999–2002) and at St. Peter’s College (2002–2006). Each program grew with his assistance; all three MAAC schools advanced to MAAC Championship games and the St. Peter’s team went from last place in the conference to the MAAC Championship game after John joined St. Peter’s coaching staff.

John is a graduate of St. Peter’s College in Jersey City, began his coaching career at Westchester Community College (1992–97) in Valhalla, New York where he guided the Viking’s to the National Junior College Athletic Association DI Tourney in 1993. While coaching at St. Peter’s, he and Wagner head coach Mike Deane were NCAA Tournament analysts on the Wally and the Keeg show on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York City.

In April 2012, John was named head coach of the Albany Legends of the Independent Basketball Association (IBA) where he steered them to the IBA championship game. He came to the Legends from the Qatar Sports Club, State of Qatar in the Middle East where he was head coach. Prior to Qatar Sports Club.

John was the head coach for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (’08-’10) of the NBA Development League where he coached Alando Tucker, DJ Strawberry (Phoenix Suns), Carlos Powell (NBA player), Kevin Pittsnogle, Keith McLeod (NBA) and Antoine Agudio. He was originally asked to join the Thunderbirds by then head coach Jeff Ruland as an assistant coach. It was a reuniting; Ruland and he were former head and assistant coaches, respectively, for some very good Iona College teams in the late 1990s.

As a collegiate coach John gained a national reputation for his ability to identify outstanding talent and effectively recruit both high school and junior college players. He also has also been a West Coast scout for the NBA with Draft Services, and an NCAA Tournament analyst for ESPN Radio. From 2010 till present he has run and worked several Basketball and Day camps all over the US and internationally. He has been a guest speaker to several Basketball Clinics. In 2011-2012 John worked as Analyst in Aljazeera’s Sports Show and Eurobasket Academy.

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