(Photo courtesy of GW_MBB Twitter)
FOGGY BOTTOM – Chris Caputo was officially introduced as George Washington Men’s Basketball Head Coach at his introductory press conference on Monday afternoon at the Smith Center.
Caputo was formerly the Associate Head Coach at Miami. He spent the last 11 years there working under Jim Larranaga. Caputo helped lead Miami to five NCAA Tournament berths, one ACC title, and this past season, a program best Elite Eight appearance.
Before Miami, Caputo was a key assistant on Larranaga’s staff at George Mason. Caputo was instrumental in Mason’s iconic 2006 final four appearance.
Interim President Mark Wrighton and Athletic Director Tanya Vogel opened the press conference by sharing how excited they were to work with Caputo to help rebuild GW’s Men’s Basketball program.
Vogel also laid out what made Caputo stand out from the rest of the coaches they considered. She mainly focused on his deep connection to the Washington, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area, his experience working under Larranaga, and his ability to navigate the transfer portal.
Vogel said, “Chris is known throughout the country, but most specifically in the DMV, as a guy who builds incredible relationships.”
Speaking to GW for the first time, Caputo spoke about how excited he was to finally come back to what he describes as his “second home.”
Caputo said, “It’s great to be back in the DMV after an 11 year spring break in Miami.”
One of Caputo’s main talking points was why he chose to come to GW, and what made now the right time to make the jump up to a head coaching position.
Caputo said, “In my mind there were only a few places, quite honestly, that I was really strongly considering and GW was one of them.”
GW’s new coach also spoke about what specifically made GW such an appealing option to him.
“GW is one of the elite private schools in all of America, and all of Division I, in the middle of one of the greatest cities in the world: the most powerful city in the world,” Caputo said. “Make no mistake, we can attract the best and brightest to GW and we will.”
Caputo also stressed the importance of recruiting players not just locally, but internationally, tapping into the immense amount of basketball talent all around the world.
“GW has a global presence,” Caputo said. “We will search the globe for people who align with us and match what it means to be a great student-athlete here at GW.”
GW has historically been very successful in developing international players. Most notably, current Toronto Raptor Yuta Watanabe from Japan, former Orlando Magic player Patricio Garino from Argentina, and former NBA and Euroleague journeyman Pops Mensah-Bonsu from England were all stars at GW.
Despite GW’s lack of recent success, having failed to compile a winning record since 2017 and an NCAA tournament berth since 2014, Caputo is optimistic.
Caputo said, “Obviously, this is a place that’s done it, that has every natural resource in terms of location and institution,” Caputo said. “I think the potential is there to be a perennial NCAA Tournament team.”
Caputo has barely had a second to breathe since losing to National Champion Kansas on March 27. After accepting the head coaching position, he has been hosting team dinners, running practices, recruiting from high school and the transfer portal, and building up his staff.
The press conference concluded with a meet and greet where attendees were able to speak individually with Caputo.