Paul Hewitt Was One of Siena’s Best

Paul Hewitt came to Siena College from Villanova, where he was an assistant coach under Steve Lappas, who later coached the University of Massachusetts.  He coached at ‘Nova from 1992 to 1997.  During his five years as the assistant coach, the Wildcats had four 20-win seasons and an NIT title in 1994.  Basketball Weekly named him one of the 10 best assistant coaches in the USA in 1996.  That same year, Eastern Basketball Magazine named him one of the top four assistants in the east ready to take over a head coaching position.  Hewitt was hired by Siena, and he revived their cage program that had been dormant since the departure of Mike Deane in the mid-1990s.  He made the Saints one of the best teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.  In three years, Hewitt developed one of the country’s highest scoring teams.  The Saints were ranked third nationally in scoring his last two seasons at Siena.  Over three seasons, they averaged  85.6 points per game.  In Hewitt’s first year, his young team went 17-12.  In his second season, the Saints started the season18-2 and finished the year with a 25-6 overall mark.  Siena was the MAAC Tournament champion and made its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since the 1988-89 season.  Hewitt led the Saints to the regular season MAAC championship the 1999-2000 season.  They finished the season 24-9 and competed in the NIT.  The Saints beat Massachusetts in the first round game, before losing 105-103 in a thriller at Penn State.  He then moved on to Georgia Tech and took over a floundering Yellow Jacket program.  Hewitt wasted liitle time putting them back on the map.  Under Hewitt, Georgia Tech made three post-season tournament appearances in four years.  He was named the ACC Coach of the Year in 2001.

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