Chris Caputo’s DMV roots made him a perfect fit at George Washington

Chris Caputo’s DMV roots made him a perfect fit at George Washington


While different highschool basketball gamers dreamed of taking part in within the NBA, Chris Caputo dreamed of being a head coach whereas rising up in New York throughout the Nineteen Nineties.

“[I] fell in love with college basketball and realized I wasn’t going to be a professional player,” said Caputo, who played for Archbishop Molloy High School and legendary coach Jack Curran. “I really looked up to my high school coach and in turn started learning more about college coaches like Mike Krzyzewskis, Dean Smiths, Lou Carneseccas. I was very attracted to the profession in terms of the impact you can have on young people.”

Caputo’s path to a head coaching opportunity began at George Mason, under current Miami coach Jim Larrañaga. He served as an assistant for the Patriots for six seasons, helping them to a run in the 2006 Final Four along with two other tournament appearances. Now back in the D.C. area after 11 years at the University of Miami, Caputo is ready to attack his first coaching opportunity at George Washington University.

“He’s a nice man, he is include a lot of information. He simply got here off an Elite Eight run with Miami, well-respected and we all know he is aware of win,” senior guard James Bishop IV said. “All the fellows are proud of what he is making an attempt to do, that how he desires us to play.”

When Caputo realized his coaching aspirations, he was relentless in his pursuit of opportunities. While attending Westfield State University, he met Larrañaga, a fellow New Yorker and Archbishop Molloy graduate of a Connecticut high school all-star. Caputo did everything in his power to end up on Larrañaga’s staff.

“I gave him my electronic mail deal with and stated, ‘keep in contact.’ I assumed possibly that may be the top of it, however he began emailing me nearly day by day,” Larrañaga said. “He did that, I do not know if it was all of his junior and senior yr, or simply in his senior yr, but it surely was a very long time.”

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Despite Caputo’s campaign, Larrañaga chose another candidate when an assistant coaching position opened at George Mason. However, Caputo’s persistence was proven when Larrañaga offered him a volunteer position, which he immediately jumped at. For three years, he learned the nuances of coaching at a Division I program and impressed enough to be promoted to a full-time assistant coaching role in 2005. Caputo would remain on Larrañaga’s staff for nearly 20 years, including moving from George Mason to Miami in 2011.

“I’ve always felt that passion is a great characteristic. That you love what you’re doing and how you’re doing it and you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and that Chris clearly portrayed,” Larrañaga said. “He was very passionate and wanted to be a coach.”

Caputo’s ability to connect and recruit, especially in a metropolitan center like DC, was particularly intriguing to Larrañaga. By establishing and maintaining contacts throughout the DMV area, Caputo was able to provide critical recruiting details to the rest of the staff. This included creating and scheduling camps for elite players to visit George Mason, giving coaches time to face some of the best local players.

“Chris is the best networker I’ve ever been around. But he knows more people than anyone I know. And he stays in touch with more people than anyone I know,” Larrañaga said. “We had a huge network of people providing us with information, and Chris was a major player in producing that network.”

When Caputo headed to Miami with Larrañaga, he brought the same passion and intensity that allowed him to thrive at George Mason. However, their staff will have their work cut out for them in the jump from the Colonial Athletic Association to the ACC. During his tenure at Miami, the team tallied five NCAA tournament appearances, one conference championship and won 226 games.

“He was really learning the coaching business. He was expanding his knowledge and also becoming very passionate about the X-and-O part of the game,” Larrañaga stated of Caputo’s time in Miami. “He was additionally creating his teaching fashion. He has a lot of expertise in assault as a result of he has carried out a lot with me. He has a lot of expertise on protection as a result of he was the scout crew coordinator and the defensive coordinator.”

With Miami starting to attain extra constant success, coupled along with his private growth as a coach, Caputo had no plans to go away South Beach.

“I’ve had different opportunities throughout the years, but I’ve also been very happy in Miami,” Caputo stated. “I liked working for coach Larrañaga; I liked the friendliness of the workers; I loved being a a part of the success we have been having fun with. For me to go away, it will take one thing very particular.”

That something very special would take the form of an opportunity to become the head basketball coach at George Washington University. Coaching the Colonials would allow Caputo to return to the D.C. area where he began coaching and established his extensive network of recruiting contacts. After some deliberation, this recognition allowed Caputo to accept the offer and take a leap of faith in an opportunity 20 years in the making.

“Coach [Larrañaga] stated, ‘Hey, look, you need to make a guess with your self, and that is a nice alternative. “It’s probably the best coaching job that one of my assistants has gotten to be an assistant coach,” Caputo stated. “I was excited to take what I’ve learned over the years and try to apply it as a head coach.”

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Caputo joins a Colonials males’s basketball program that has not completed with a document above .500 since 2016-17. He is conscious of the problem at hand, however is keen for the duty it brings.

“I think I’m looking forward to trying to build a stable and successful program at George Washington,” Caputo stated. “I judge things on long horizons.”

As Caputo lastly embarks on the journey he has pursued since his days at Archbishop Molloy, Larrañaga is assured that his mentee will succeed.

“He is very direct and [players] are very receptive to his form of communication. He’s very typical of New York guys, there’s not a lot of baloney,” Larrañaga stated. “He is very well prepared to be an exceptional coach.”

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