COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Marywood to hire Jon Showers as men's coach

Sep. 30—Marywood University's search for a men's basketball head coach finally came to a conclusion.

On Friday, the school will announce the hiring of Jon Showers as the sixth head coach in program history. He replaces Enrico Mastroianni, who coached the past seven seasons but left in July to become the athletic director at Abington Heights High School.

For Showers, it marks a return to Marywood. He was an assistant coach on Bob Simmons' staff from 2013-15. The Pacers went 24-26 overall and 15-21 in the Colonial States Athletic Conference those seasons.

"Jon brings a unique knowledge of Marywood University along with a proven track record at every stop he has made," Marywood interim executive director of athletics and recreation Andrew Smith said. "Some of our more successful basketball seasons were the result of Jon's recruiting efforts as an assistant coach here."

Showers, 33, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at DeSales University. During that time, the Bulldogs won back-to-back MAC Freedom Conference regular-season titles and qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament last season.

Before that, he was an assistant coach at York College of Pennsylvania from 2015-20 and helped the Spartans to three consecutive Capital Athletic Conference regular-season championships and NCAA tournament appearances.

"The ability to run my own program is something that's been a goal of mine since I started in coaching," said Showers, who also was a graduate assistant coach at Millersville University from 2011-13. "Especially since I started out at Marywood. After working there a couple weeks, it didn't take long for me to realize Division III was my calling. The student-athlete side of things, you really feel it at Division III.

"So Marywood got my foot in the door at the Division III level in terms of coaching. From then on, I've been blessed with three really good mentors from Bob Simmons to Matt Hunter at York and Scott Coval at DeSales. I cannot be more excited to hit the ground running."

Indeed, Showers doesn't have much time to settle into the position. Official practice begins Oct. 15 and Marywood opens its season Nov. 11 against Penn State-Hazleton in the semifinals of the Electric City Classic.

Having that past familiarity with the school and the area will help, however.

"I'm a big relationship guy, I feel it's gotten me to where I am now," Showers said. "But relationships take time and I'm going to have to expediate that process with the current roster. Get to know the players, get them comfortable with me and me with them, understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Formulating a staff is another thing on my priority list. Find two or three guys who fit what I'm looking for as assistant coaches.

"But I have a plan in place."

Showers played at York Catholic High School from 2004-07 and was a member of the 2005 team that lost in the PIAA Class 2A final to Beaver Falls. He also was on teams that defeated Lackawanna Trail in the first round of the state tournament in 2004; Bishop Hoban in the first round in 2006; and Mountain View in the second round in 2007.

Overall in high school, he started 120 games, during which the team was 99-31, and he scored 1,290 career points.

After graduation, he went to Emerson College in Boston and played one season before transferring to Penn State, where he graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

He was two days away from heading to law school when the position for a graduate assistant opened up at Millersville.

"I decided to follow my dream," Showers said.

As for the type of basketball he intends for Marywood to play, Showers believes in a fun, uptempo, sharing style on offense and different dynamics on defense.

"The last seven years at my stops at York and DeSales, two words for our teams have been sacrifice and compete," Showers said. "When you look at our assist numbers, we were always first or second in the league. Offensively, it's all about playing for the person next to you; the drive-and-kick style. I do have a pretty analytical base, too, when it comes to offensive basketball."

Smith said he and the coaching search committee were impressed by Showers' passion for the position, the school and Division III athletics during the interview process.

"We are confident Jon can be equally if not more successful as a head coach than he was as an assistant and can take the men's program to new heights," Smith said.

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