Mike Deane returns to the coaching ranks

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For 24 of the past 26 years, Mike Deane has been a head coach at a Division I school.

Eight years at Siena, five years at Marquette, four years at Lamar and seven years at Wagner.

The past two seasons, however, Deane has not been coaching. In 2009-2010, he was the head coach of a Wagner team that finished 5-26. Deane was let go and replaced by Danny Hurley, who promptly turned Wagner into an NEC power and skipped town for Rhode Island.

Well, Deane has found a way back into the business, and ironically enough, it is with a former player.

Matt Brady, who is currently the head coach at James Madison, played for Deane his senior season at Siena in 1986-1987 and is now giving back, hiring his former head coach as an assistant with the Dukes. There is no word on whether or not Deane will be allowed to bring his seat-belt chair with him. (No, seriously. He had a seat belt chair at Wagner. And he wears sunglasses. To games.)

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Matt,” Deane told the Times-Union. “I’m more excited about being back into coaching. Third, I’m very excited about being in an assistant’s position because it’s where I’d like to be at this juncture. It’s a beautiful place, as nice a campus as I’ve ever been on.”

Brady is just 67-67 in his tenure at JMU and coming off of a 12-20 season. Adding a former head coach that has taken three different programs to the NCAA tournament should certainly help the program.

The biggest question with this hire: will Deane wear sunglasses on the sidelines as an assistant, or was that a head coach-only kind of thing?

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.