Syndication: Westchester

And here we thought LIU canning Derek Kellogg in late June was a shocking local college basketball coaching move.

Longtime Manhattan coach Steve Masiello is out just days before the start of the regular season, according to The Post. He was reportedly entering the final year of his deal and is gone after failing to get an extension. RaShawn Stores is set to be the interim coach.

The Jaspers were just picked second in the MAAC preseason poll behind Iona. Which makes the sudden change all the more surprising. Manhattan opens the season Nov. 7 at VCU. And Jose Perez, the preseason conference player of the year, may not be there.

Masiello, 45, led the Jaspers to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014-15. He was then hired at South Florida, but lost the job when it was determined he had lied about graduating from Kentucky on his resume. Manhattan took him back and he then received his degree. But the Jaspers have not experienced similar on-court success since then.

Manhattan had six straight losing seasons since Masiello’s return until last year’s 15-15 finish. The Jaspers have not finished better than sixth place in the MAAC during that span.

James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.