Maurice Joseph named men’s basketball interim head coach

Updated Sept. 27, 2016 at 3:46 p.m.

Maurice Joseph will serve as interim head coach of the men’s basketball program this fall, the athletic department announced Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph fills the position 10 days after former head coach Mike Lonergan was dismissed by the University following an investigation into allegations of verbal and emotional abuse.

The 31-year-old has been part of the team’s staff for five years and served as an assistant coach during GW’s past three seasons.

“I am eager and well prepared to begin this journey with the 13 student-athletes in our locker room and the tight-knit group of coaches that I will rely upon heavily,” Joseph said in a release. “It is a distinct honor to have the opportunity to be a mentor to our team in this new role.”

The Montreal, Quebec native has collegiate playing experience at Michigan State and Vermont, where he led the Catamounts to an America East Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010 under then-Vermont head coach Lonergan.

“It brings me great excitement and pride to hear that Maurice Joseph will lead the George Washington program,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “He entered Michigan State as an intelligent player with great people skills and would quickly develop the discipline and toughness that will serve him well in his new role. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he is incredibly well suited to lead the Colonials.”

According to Adam Zagoria of SportsNet New York, the University interviewed all three of the assistant coaches on staff for the job. The selection of Joseph means GW passed up on sixth-year associate head coach Hajj Turner and third-year assistant coach Carmen Maciariello.

“MoJo emerged as the right individual for this interim position,” Provost Forrest Maltzman said in a release. “He’s a strong teacher, and he has the full support of the university. MoJo will be an excellent mentor for the young men he will lead with his understanding of the ideals of what a student-athlete should be, and he will prioritize a united locker room to achieve the program’s common goals.”

Men’s basketball tips off on its 2016-2017 season at the Smith Center on Nov. 11.

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