Jamion Christian Named Siena Basketball Head Coach

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May 2, 2018

Press Conference Transcript | Photo Gallery | What They're Saying About Jamion Christian

LOUDONVILLE, NY - Jamion Christian, who led Mount St. Mary's University to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances over his six seasons at the helm, has been named the 17th head coach in Siena Basketball history.

Coach Christian will be formally introduced today at a 4 p.m. press conference which will be streamed on the Siena Saints Official Facebook page via Facebook Live. Fans will have their first opportunity to meet Coach Christian from 5-6 p.m. in the new Times Union Center atrium.

"I am so honored to be named the head coach at Siena College, and I would like to thank President Coughlin and John D'Argenio for this opportunity," said Christian. "I was immediately drawn to Siena by its rich history of basketball excellence and high levels of achievement. I am looking forward to bringing an exciting brand of basketball to the Capital Region, and building upon what is already a strong Siena Basketball tradition. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with our team. We have a lot to prove, and we're going to have a lot of fun earning it each and every day. I love the passionate fan base, and I implore them to help amplify our style of play which is going to be a real problem for all opponents who enter the Times Union Center."

The 36-year-old piloted Mount St. Mary's to 101 wins and a 67-39 (.632) record in the Northeast Conference in six seasons leading his alma mater. He guided the Mount to a pair of NEC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2017, highlighted by a First Four victory over New Orleans in 2017.

"Jamion represents the very ideals of Siena College and its men's basketball program. I believe this is a good fit," explained Siena College President Br. F. Edward Coughlin, O.F.M, Ph.D. "Jamion has been revered in every locker room and in every community where he's coached. Jamion leads by putting the student athletes first, and he demands that wins and championships are earned with dignity. I'm elated for our student athletes, for our community, and for Siena Basketball fans everywhere."

The architect of "Mount Mayhem," which features a pressure defense predicated on limiting threes and an offense fueled by three-point shooting, Christian led Mount St. Mary's to an 18-14 overall record including a tied for second place finish in the NEC with a 12-6 league mark this past season, while developing NEC Player of the Year Junior Robinson and Defensive Player of the Year Chris Wray. This past season, Christian's brand of basketball saw the Mountaineers lead the NEC and rank 19th nationally in threes (10.1), 34th in turnover margin (+2.7), and 49th in three-point field goal percentage (.379). Additionally, the Mount ranked 15th nationally in fewest fouls (15.4), 26th in fewest turnovers (11.0), and 56th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27), while also pacing the NEC in averaging 14.0 assists.

"On behalf of the campus community, I'd like to welcome Jamion, his fiancé Allie, and his son Jacoy to Siena College and the Capital Region," remarked Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D'Argenio. "Coach Christian is a proven head coach who possesses an infectious energy, and a commitment to develop young men both as people and student athletes. During our discussions, it quickly became obvious that he respects Siena, its basketball program, its people, and its traditions. We are excited to have Coach Christian represent Siena College."

Christian guided Mount St. Mary's to the NCAA Tournament in 2017, after leading the program to both NEC Regular Season and Tournament Championships. The Mountaineers won 19 of their final 24 games, and posted their second-best ever NEC record at 14-4 to capture the program's first regular season title in 21 years. For his efforts, Christian was tabbed both the 2016-17 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year -- named after his legendary predecessor whom he played for at the Mount -- and CollegeInsider.com's Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year, presented annually to the top Division I minority coach.

Named the head coach at his alma mater at the age of just 30, Christian wasted no time in building Mount St. Mary's into a perennial NEC contender. The Mount achieved a stellar 60-19 (.759) overall home record at Knott Arena during his tenure, and was the only NEC program to post a winning conference record in each of Christian's six seasons in Emmitsburg.

In Christian's inaugural season at the helm in 2012-13, he led Mount St. Mary's to 18 victories, which marked the program's fourth most wins spanning nearly a quarter century at the Division I level. Under his leadership, the Mountaineers advanced to the NEC Championship Game in just his first season as Christian was named a finalist for CollegeInsider.com's Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I.

Christian's second season yielded the program's first of two NEC Tournament Championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. The Mount rallied from a 19-point deficit with just over nine minutes left to defeat St. Francis Brooklyn in the quarterfinals, before knocking off Robert Morris in the Championship Game.

Prior to returning to Mount St. Mary's, Christian spent the previous season as an assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he helped lead the program to a record 29 wins, a Colonial Athletic Association Championship, and an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012. Christian began his collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Division III Emory & Henry College (2004-06), before moving on to the Division I ranks as the director of basketball operations at Bucknell University (2006-08), and then as an assistant coach at the College of William & Mary (2008-11). Christian played a major role in securing the Tribe's 2010 recruiting class, which ranked among the best mid-major classes in the country and the best in the CAA according to ESPN.com and Scouts, Inc.

A 2004 graduate of Mount St. Mary's, Christian was a three-time team captain under Phelan and Milan Brown. He amassed 581 points in 90 career games, including 56 starts. Christian led the Mount in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game during the 2001-02 season.

A native of Quinton, Virginia, Christian is engaged to Allie Vadas, who played softball at Mount St. Mary's. The couple will be married this Saturday, May 5. Christian is the proud father of a five-year-old son, Jacoy.