NEW YORK — A person with knowledge of the deal says Steve Masiello is leaving Manhattan to become the basketball coach at South Florida.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because neither school has announced the agreement.
Masiello just completed his third season at Manhattan with a 71-64 loss to Louisville in the second round of the NCAA tournament. What made the game even more meaningful to the 39-year-old Masiello was that he was facing his former coach and mentor in Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Rick Pitino.
Masiello, a native of White Plains, N.Y., served as Pitino’s ball boy with the NBA’s New York Knicks in the 1980s, played for him at Kentucky (1996-1997) and then spent another six years coaching alongside him at Louisville (2005-11).
The Jaspers (25-8) qualified for the NCAAs by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament. Manhattan, which finished second in the regular season, beat first-place Iona in the championship game.
Masiello had a 60-39 record in his three seasons with the Jaspers, his only years as a head coach.
Masiello won’t have to worry about facing Pitino and Louisville as members of the same conference because the Cardinals are leaving the American Athletic Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference.
South Florida fired Stan Heath on March 14 after the Bulls went 12-20, including 3-15 in their first season in the American Athletic Conference. He compiled a 97-130 record in seven seasons and led the Bulls to the NCAA tournament in 2012, their first appearance in 20 years.
He was selected Big East coach of the year in 2011-12 when he led the Bulls to a school-record tying 22 wins and the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Heath went to South Florida after five seasons at Arkansas where he compiled an 82-71 record and took the Razorbacks to two NCAA tournaments.
An assistant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State for five years, Heath started his head coaching career at Kent State which he led to a 30-6 record and an appearance in the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight.