Siena Heights hires new coach

May 1, 2012 in NAIA

Joe Pechota

By Patrick Hayes

Siena Heights University has hired a new basketball coach, Joe Pechota. From a Siena Heights news release:

Pechota will lead the Saints after seven seasons as the head coach for Brescia University, an NAIA Division II team in Owensboro, Ky.

Under Pechota’s watch, the Bearcats have appeared in the last two Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference finals. Pechota has also coached six NAIA All-America honorees and three NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Prior to coaching at Brescia, Pechota was at Indiana-Fort Wayne where he graduated from assistant to associate head coach to interim head coach during his six seasons at IUFW. He was also an assistant at Ferris State for one season and at Alma for three seasons.

Pechota is no stranger to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference; he graduated from Concordia in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. In 2001, he earned a Master’s degree in Sport Administration from Central Michigan.

“We believe Joe can get our program back to where we want it to be,” SHU athletic director Fred Smith said, “based on his recent success at Brescia and his familiarity with the WHAC.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to be back in Michigan and back in a conference I played in,” Pechota said of his hiring.

Siena Heights finished 7-24 last season under assistant Bobby Plumer, who was named acting head coach after head coach Al Sandifer took a leave of absence due to a medical issue in August. Although the team struggled last season, Pechota will get back last year’s leading scorer Cecil Clark, who averaged 14.1 points per game, including a school-record 38 points against Saint Xavier in December. Nick Kosovich and Nick Packwood both played key roles and also return and Siena Heights has added recruit Andre Duffin as well.