Bashir Mason, Richard Pitino, Wes Miller out to prove young coaches can win, too

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Taking over a Division I program isn’t easy. Being one of the three youngest coaches in the game isn’t easy either. Now try building a Division I program as one of the three youngest coaches in the country.

With the hiring of Richard Pitino at Florida International to replace Isiah Thomas, it now means that the three youngest coaches in college basketball are all fresh hires.

NBCSports.com takes a look at the three men as they look to build their respective programs.

Bashir Mason | Age 28 years, 1 month | Hired at Wagner, March 26, 2012

Mason takes over for Danny Hurley, who built a strong foundation for the program at Wagner before departing for Rhode Island.

He was an assistant at Wagner for two seasons before being named head coach.

Hurley coached Mason back in his playing days at St. Benedict’s (N.J.). Mason went on to play for Drexel from 2003-07.

The Seahawks finished 25-6 on the year, including 15-3 in the NEC. They have two solid pieces coming from the Class of 2012, with Eric Fanning of Trenton, N.J., and Michigan State transfer Dwaun Anderson.

Wes Miller | Age: 29 years, 2 months | Hired at UNC-G, March 6, 2012

Miller learned under the tutelage of Roy Williams at North Carolina during his playing days. He was an assistant at Elon, High Point, and UNC-Greensboro before earning the head coaching job here.

He had his best season as a player at North Carolina in 2005-06, when he averaged 7.2 points and 1.9 assists for the Tar Heels.

The Spartans were 13-19 in 2011-12, including 10-8 in the Southern Conference.

Richard Pitino | Age: 29 years, 6 months | Hired at FIU, April 15, 2012

Pitino, son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, is the most recent hire and comes in after high-profile coach Isiah Thomas was fired.

The Cardinals went to the Final Four this season, before losing to eventual national champion Kentucky. Pitino was a manager at Providence College, his alma mater, under then-head coach Tim Welsh.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_