EDINBORO — Edinboro University on Tuesday hired longtime assistant Pat Cleary as its head basketball coach.
This will mark Cleary’s first head coaching job. He takes over for his mentor, Greg Walcavich, who announced his retirement after 24 years as Edinboro’s head coach on March 8. Cleary was Walcavich’s assistant for 14 seasons.
“We feel confident that Pat is the right man for the job,” Bruce Baumgartner, Edinboro director of athletics, said. “We put quite a bit of time in talking to people about what our next move should be, and it kept coming back to Pat. He had an opportunity to learn from one of the best coaches in the country, and Greg was adamant about Pat’s ability to keep this program moving forward.”
“I am honored to be chosen to follow a legend,” Cleary said. “Coach Walcavich has taught me so much and I have been very fortunate to work with him for so long, I wish I could work with him another 14 years.
“I love Edinboro University,” he added. “It is a special place that has prepared me for this challenge. I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received from the people around campus and in the community, and I will work myself to the limit to make the entire Edinboro Community remain proud of Edinboro basketball.”
Cleary was hired as an assistant coach in 1999. He served as a student assistant from 1997-99. Edinboro won 20-or more games five times in his 14 seasons, and the Fighting Scots had an overall record of 229-139. Edinboro won back-to-back PSAC championships and made three NCAA tournament appearances in that span.
“Pat is absolutely the right man at the right time for Edinboro to hire,” Walcavich said. “He will approach the job working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. That’s the way you have to do it. He’s the right person.”