Third-year head coach Joe Gallo of the Merrimack College men’s basketball program announced on Tuesday that Phil Gaetano has joined the program as an assistant coach, and will assume the post effective immediately.
Gaetano replaces David Richards, who became the head coach at Chatham University earlier this offseason.
“Phil will be an unbelievable addition to our program. I have always had the utmost respect for Phil as a player at Sacred Heart and that continued as he got into the coaching profession,” said Gallo. “His basketball IQ is off the charts and he possesses a great ability to relate, build relationships, and develop players. Our guys will really benefit from the knowledge and experiences that Phil will bring with him to our program.”
Gaetano joins Merrimack after spending the 2017-18 academic year as a member of the staff at Coppin State University. His responsibilities included recruiting coordination, practice plan and scouting report development as well as leading individual and team film sessions. Prior to his time at Coppin State, Gaetano served as an assistant with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League (G-League) in 2016-17. The Red Claws posted a 29-21 record that season and won the Atlantic Division.
As a student, Gaetano played at Sacred Heart University from 2011-15 and graduated as one of the most decorated point guards in program history. He remains the Pioneers all-time assists leader (730) in their Division I history as well as distributing the third most assists in Northeast Conference (NEC) history. In addition to his on-court accolades, Gaetano became the first-ever three-time NEC Scholar Athlete of the Year (2013-15), graduating from Sacred Heart with a degree in business administration in 2014. He went on to earn his master’s degree, also in business administration, in 2015.
With the Warriors, Gaetano will join a program that aims for its third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth led by a core of 10 returning student-athletes that accounted for over 80 percent of the program’s offensive output in 2017-18.