Iona head coach Tim Cluess stepping down to focus on health

Tim Cluess, who missed the entire 2019-20 season dealing with health issues, has announced that he is stepping down as the Iona Gaels‘ head basketball coach. He was 199-108 during his tenure (not counting this past year), won four MAAC titles and went to the NCAA Tournament six times.

“I want to sincerely thank the Iona College community and administration for the opportunity to be a part of Gael Nation for the past ten years,” Cluess said in a statement. “I appreciate the concern and care that the Iona Community, in particular Dr. Carey, has demonstrated for me and my family over the past few months as I have been dealing with a complicated health issue that kept me from coaching.”

In addition to focusing on a full recovery from his health issues, Cluess will serve in an advisory role with the College.

The Gaels were led in 2019-20 by associate head coach Tra Arnold, who came to Iona in 2018 after spending the previous nine years as a JUCO head coach in Texas. We assume Arnold will be a top candidate to get the Iona job permanently, but here are a couple other names that make sense: Bryant head coach (and longtime Iona assistant) Jared Grasso, Norfolk State head coach Robert Jones (also a Queens-native), St. John’s assistant and Queens-native Steve DeMeo, and Arizona State assistant Rasheen Davis (also a former AAU and NY coach in New York). The swing-for-the-fences choice? Exiled Hall of Famer and New York-native Rick Pitino.


credit to ICGaels .com for the photo