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Siena announces hiring of Jamion Christian as head coach

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Mount St. Mary's v Villanova

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 16: Head coach Jamion Christian of the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers reacts in the first half against the Villanova Wildcats during the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at KeyBank Center on March 16, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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Less than three weeks after Jimmy Patsos, at the time being investigated for multiple issues including allegations of verbal abuse, stepped down as head coach the Siena athletic department has found his replacement.

According to multiple outlets, Siena and Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jamion Christian have come to terms on a five-year deal. The official announcement was made by the school Wednesday afternoon.

Christian spent the last six seasons at his alma mater, leading the Mountaineers to NCAA tournament appearances in 2014 and 2017. Christian’s overall record at Mount St. Mary’s was 101-95, and it should be noted that the Mountaineers finished above .500 in conference play in each of his six season. Christian was able to get the program back on track immediately, as Mount St. Mary’s went 11-7 in Northeast Conference play during his first season at the helm (2012-13).

As has been the case at more than a few mid- and low-major programs Christian had to deal with multiple players transferring to higher profile programs during his time at Mount St. Mary’s, but the team still had its fair share of success. The “Mount Mayhem” system employed by Christian emphasized pressure defense and three-point shooting, and it paid off to the tune of a 67-39 conference record over the last six seasons.

Now Christian, who worked under both Tony Shaver (William & Mary) and Shaka Smart (VCU) as an assistant, makes the move to a Siena program that has not been back to the NCAA tournament since Fran McCaffrey led the program to three straight appearances from 2008 to 2010. Under Patsos Siena won at least 20 games in a season twice, the first being his debut season in 2013-14 that ended with a CBI championship.