Iona College Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons
announced the appointment of Tim Cluess
as the 12th head coach of the men's basketball program on April 8, 2010. Cluess comes to New Rochelle with an impressive 20-year coaching resume after spending the last four seasons as head coach at C.W. Post in Brookville, NY.
"Tim possesses all of the qualities that I was looking for in the search process for our next head coach," said Lyons. "He is a proven winner at every level that he has coached and a New York native that will push the program forward with our goals. We’re ecstatic to have him on board."
One thing that can be said about Cluess; he is a winner. After spending 14 years as head coach at St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, NY, Cluess spent the last five in the college ranks at Suffolk Community College and C.W. Post. He amassed a 120-33 record in those five years and had unprecedented success at both schools. When combining his high school record, Cluess has won more than 77 percent of his games coached.
“I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to come to Iona and lead this program,” said Cluess. “We are going to get to work right away and build on the great tradition at Iona. Competing in a league as good as the MAAC will be a challenge that I greatly look forward to.”
In his last season at C.W. Post, Cluess' Pioneers earned a 23-6 overall record, earning victories in 19 of their last 21 contests. The squad earned its fourth straight berth in the East Coast Conference championship game. Cluess was named the ECC Co-Coach of the Year, his third straight honor.
In 2008-09, C.W. Post had its finest season in history, setting a school record with 30 victories. Standing among the top 10 teams in the nation from January through March in 2009, the Pioneers were ranked as high as No. 2 at one point in the year. The squad posted an undefeated regular season, winning all 24 games for the first time in school history. C.W. Post won its second straight ECC regular season and tournament championship titles and defeated Bentley in overtime in front of thousands on their home court to win the NCAA East Region Championship title and advance to the Elite Eight Tournament in Springfield, Mass. The second-ranked C.W. Post squad met top-seeded Findlay University in the semifinal round and lost a heartbreaker to the eventual National Champions, 89-79, in overtime. In the final Division II national rankings, C.W. Post was ranked first in scoring margin (22.4) and second in assists per game (20.3).
For his outstanding efforts, Cluess was named the Basketball Times Division II Co-Coach of the Year as well as Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association Division II Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
The 2007-08 season saw Cluess’ squad post a 26-5 overall record, including an 18-2 clip in the conference. C.W. Post claimed its first regular season and conference titles since the 2003-04 season with a 60-57 win to advance to the NCAA Northeast Regional at Bentley College. He was voted the ECC Coach of the Year by his peers, and was named the MWBA Division II Coach of the Year.
In 2006-07, his first year at the helm, Cluess guided the Pioneers to a 19-11 record and an appearance in the ECC Championship game. He improved the team's win total by six from the season before he took over the program.
Cluess was named the eighth head men’s basketball coach in the 50-year history of the Pioneers’ program in April of 2006, after spending the 2005-06 campaign as the head men’s basketball coach at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, NY. He led a team of eight players to a 22-10 record overall, as well as a Region XV championship and a fourth-place finish in the NJCAA Division III Tournament. The trip to the national tournament was the first in the Longhorns’ history, and Cluess was tabbed the District 5 Coach of the Year.
Prior to his ascent to the college ranks, Cluess was a standout head coach at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, NY from 1991-05, where the Gaels went a remarkable 264-78 (.772) during his tenure. St. Mary’s won a record eight consecutive Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association league championships from 1997-98 to 2004-05. In that final season with Cluess as their mentor, the Gaels went 25-1 and finished the season ranked in the Top 20 nationally after holding the No. 1 ranking for eight weeks of the campaign.
Cluess helped develop more than 50 players who moved on to the collegiate and professional ranks at St. Mary’s including former North Carolina standout and current Cleveland Cavalier Danny Green. He won four state titles and two Federation championships at the Manhasset school. Cluess was a seven-time coach of the year in the high school ranks and earned tournament wins in national tournaments such as the Beach Ball Classic and the Las Vegas Prep Classic.
Cluess played professional basketball in Europe and Australia after a collegiate career at both St. John’s and Hofstra. He attended St. John’s from 1978-81, before completing his coursework at Hofstra from 1982-83. Cluess, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Hofstra, currently resides in Floral Park, N.Y. with his wife, Karen, and their two children – Kevin, 14 and T.J., 12.