George Washington University has named Miami associate head coach Chris Caputo head coach of the men's basketball program. Caputo comes to Foggy Bottom after nearly two decades as an assistant coach for Jim Larrañaga at Miami and George Mason.
"After a thorough search and identification of numerous highly-qualified coaches, both sitting head coaches and assistants, Chris rose to the top," Director of Athletics Tanya Vogel said in a statement. "We set out to find someone who understands what it will take to be successful here and embrace the ideal of a student-athlete, and Chris demonstrated that capability. Combined with his long-tenured success coaching some of the best college basketball players in the country who have gone on to successful careers both in basketball and in life, his recruiting acumen, knowledge of the DMV and international recruiting space, Chris is primed to build a sustained winner in Foggy Bottom."
This will be the first time Caputo will hold the reigns of a program as a long-time assistant coach. Several hiring cycles have come and gone where his name was rumored to be considered for other head coaching positions.
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Caputo, 41, was with Larrañaga when George Mason made the Final Four in 2006 and most recently an Elite Eight appearance with the Hurricanes this past year. In total, Caputo has been to seven NCAA Tournaments as an assistant.
This marks the third time in five coaches that the Colonials have elected to hire a first-time head coach. Karl Hobbs (2001-11) and Maurice Joseph (2016-19) both were novices to the role. Much like Hobbs, however, Caputo brings a ton of experience at the Power 5 level.
George Washington hopes that Caputo's expertise in the D.C.area and deep-rooted background of success in Division I basketball will turn the program around. Ever since the tumultuous end to the Mike Lonergan era (2011-16), the Colonials have struggled to consistently win and compete in the top half of the Atlantic 10.
Caputo replaces Jamion Christian who served as the head coach for three seasons. Not once did the Colonials post a winning record in his tenure, finishing with a 29-50 record. It was the lowest winning percentage for a coach since the 1980s.
Caputo is the third new headman for the DMV region after George Mason named Kim English head coach in 2021 and Maryland recently hired Kevin Willard earlier last month.