Miami Associate Head Coach Chris Caputo will head the men’s basketball team, athletic director Tanya Vogel announced Friday.
“After a thorough search and identification of numerous highly-qualified coaches, both sitting head coaches and assistants, Chris rose to the top,” Vogel said in the announcement. “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.”
Chris Caputo brings more than 20 years of experience to Foggy Bottom along with a 26-11 record as an assistant coach for the Hurricanes. His hiring comes two weeks after former Head Coach Jamion Christian and his staff were fired following a lackluster performance at the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Caputo worked as a scout, recruiter and defense coordinator, helping coach the Hurricanes to five NCAA tournament berths, three Sweet 16 appearances as well as an Elite Eight showing in March. Caputo aided the Hurricanes to a No. 2 national ranking as well as three 25-win seasons during his tenure.
Under Caputo’s leadership, Miami became one of two ACC schools to have a student athlete selected in the NBA draft each year since 2016, with Dewan Hernandez being the most recently drafted Hurricane.
“My family and I want to thank President Wrighton, Tanya Vogel and the entire GW family for giving me this opportunity,” Caputo said in the announcement. “I would not have taken this role if I didn’t believe with my whole heart that we are going to build a program the whole university community will be proud of.
In July 2020, Caputo was named top-five assistant coach by his coaching peers in the Atlantic Coast Conference in a poll conducted by Stadium. Silver Waves Media tabbed him as one of the top 50 high-major assistant coaches in April 2020 and Yardbarker listed him in the top 10 assistant coaches on the rise in November 2019.
Prior to his time at Miami, Caputo led recruitment for George Mason under Jim Lagarraña’s leadership, where he recruited top talent including McDonald’s All-Americans, Jordan Brand Classic players and international players from Australia and New Zealand.
“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,” Vogel said. “I am excited to welcome Chris and his family – Julie, and their daughters Lily and Charlotte – to our special community.”
Caputo began his college basketball playing career with the Division III Westfield State Owls as a point guard, eventually becoming a four-year letter winner and achieving the team’s Outstanding Contributor Award as a senior captain. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in finance and economics.
“The tradition is here, the desire to win is here, the fanbase is here, and that’s a great place to start,” Caputo said. “The experiences I’ve had in my career have led me to GW, and I could not be more excited to move back to the DMV and get started where I believe the best talent in the country resides. GW fans and the worldwide network that this excellent university has around it are going to love what they see from our program.”
This article appeared in the April 4, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.