"CHML News has learned that Joe Raso and the university parted ways today.Another direction can mean many, many things. There is no way, given that Raso just announced his recruiting class and has his son, guard Victor Raso, just going into his second season, that this could have been a coach's decision.
"Raso told CHML News, the school wants to go in another direction.
"Raso will return to his full-time job at St. Mary's Secondary in Hamilton."
One theory (and it's just a theory) could be that Mac athletic director Jeff Giles wants to have a full-time men's hoops coach. Raso has a good job at St. Mary's Secondary School (and the pension that comes with it), so perhaps he did not fit into any such restructuring.
You could reasonably ask if that's an instance of being rigid in one's thinking. The arrangement with Raso certainly worked well.
A counter-point, given that Mac has gone a few seasons without a tournament trip. Giles might be thinking that the Marauders are at or near a point of diminishing returns with not having a full-time coach. Basketball is getting more competitive each season. A full-time coach might be the logical next step for a school which should be in the hunt for an OUA West title most seasons in light of its size, facilities and the strong basketball culture in Southern Ontario.
Raso is Hamilton and through and through, so one would wonder what it would take for him to coach another CIS program. He is set with a job at St. Mary's, where he built a powerhouse high school program from scratch before he was hired at McMaster in 1992. By any standard, he was a success at McMaster over an 18-year span, although a national title proved elusive, like it did for Dave DeAveiro at Ottawa. (Another common thread is each had a high-profile recruit who did not work out: Ryan Christie this season at Mac and former Syracuse guard Josh Wright in 2008-09 at Ottawa.)
Above all else, Raso rated better than an unceremonious exit in late April.
It will be hard to imagine the Marauders without Raso coaching. This is a stunner, for sure.
Between Joe Raso, Ottawa-turned-McGill coach DeAveiro and retiring York coach Bob Bain, more than six decades' experience has been taken out of OUA men's basketball.
Raso out as Mac basketball coach (Ted Michaels, AM 900 CHML)
Mac shows Raso the door; basketball coach's contract not renewed (Drew Edwards, Hamilton Spectator)