Though multiple sources reported this morning that Jim Baron has been offered the head coaching position of Canisius’ men’s basketball team, the school says it absolutely has not made anyone an offer at this point.
Baron was fired after 11 seasons at the University of Rhode Island following a 7-24 record this year. He has Western New York ties, serving as the head coach at St. Bonaventure from 1992-01.
Canisius athletic director Bill Maher was previously asked if he was looking into hiring Baron, to which he replied, “If that’s a possibility, we would absolutely consider it.”
Baron turned 58 on Tuesday and has taken teams to the NCAA Tournament twice – St. Francis in 1991 and St. Bonaventure in 2000 – but never with Atlantic 10 member Rhode Island, which was a key factor in his firing.
Baron has a career record of 390-367 (.515) and was 184-165 at URI (83-93 in conference) and took the team to the NIT five times.
He would replace Tom Parrotta, who complied a 64-121 record in six years at Canisius, which was his first head-coaching job.
Canisius College is rumored to be several million dollars in the red, and Baron likely wouldn’t come cheap. A report from December about Baron’s contract at URI said his base salary was nearly $350,000, and could almost double based on incentives. That base salary alone would make him the highest-paid employee at Canisius, according to the most recent tax documents available.
The Buffalo News reported that Canisius is still entertaining other potential coaches while it waits to hear from Baron. Jayson Gee (assistant at Cleveland State), Anthony Evans (head coach at Norfolk St.) and Bob Walsh (head coach at Rhode Island College, different from Rhode Island University) were named specifically in the report.
Canisius was formerly rumored to be after Bobby Hurley, but he decided to stay on as an assistant under his brother Dan, who replaced Baron at URI this week.