Jason Leone has been named the 17th head men’s basketball coach at Oswego State according to Director of Athletics Tim Hale. Leone, a Syracuse, N.Y. native, had previously been the head coach at Keystone College in La Plume, Pa., where he led the program to an overall record of 71-35 over the past four seasons.
“Jason Leone has a proven ability to recruit outstanding student-athletes and develop a winning program. We look forward to Jason continuing our winning tradition in men’s basketball at Oswego State,” said Hale.
In 2010-11, Leone guided Keystone to an overall record of 21-6 with wins over NCAA qualifiers Oswego State and Gwynedd-Mercy, en route to achieving the program’s first-ever NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Ranking. In addition to amassing a .670 winning percentage, Leone’s squads never finished below third place in the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and qualified for post-season play all four years.
Ten players received All-CSCA honors under Leone’s guidance and recruited and coached the program’s second all-time leading scorer, Tercel Taylor. His players have been equally as successful in the classroom, as he has coached 22 CSAC All-Academic Team selections and has had his squads post a team GPA over 3.0 in six of his eight semesters as head coach.
“I am thrilled about being named the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Oswego State. Being a native of Central New York, I am excited to be back in an area that I love and have a lot of pride in. In addition, I am ready to take on the responsibility of continuing and building upon the success that the men’s basketball program has experienced in the recent years,” stated Leone.
“I am very grateful to Director of Athletics, Tim Hale, and all those involved with my appointment for giving me what I consider to be an unbelievable opportunity. Our student-athletes and coaching staff will work very hard in our effort to continue having a men’s basketball program that the institution and Oswego community can be proud of, both on and off the court.”
Prior to coaching at Keystone, Leone served as the assistant coach at Division II Mercyhurst College for four seasons from 2003-2007. During that span, Mercyhurst compiled a mark of 61-50, including a record of 37-20 over a two-year span, which was the best two-year mark at Mercyhurst since 1986. The Lakers qualified for post-season play in three of the four years he spent at Mercyhurst, including the program’s first ever victory in the post-season conference tournament. During his tenure, the Lakers produced six All-Conference selections, while pulling in a top 25 national ranking in scoring defense for three years.
Before joining Mercyhurst, Leone served as the assistant coach at Clarkson University where the Golden Knights earned an ECAC title berth. Leone was responsible for three recruiting classes while at Clarkson and those efforts were rewarded following the 2003-04 season with the team’s first ever league title.
As a player, Leone began his career at NCAA Division I Lafayette College, were he played for two seasons before transferring to the University of Rochester, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1999. The three-time Dean’s List honoree was a captain of the 1998-99 squad that qualified for the NCAA tournament.
On the court, Leone won the UAA individual scoring title with Rochester following the 1997-98 season, and later earned Second Team All-UAA recognition. During his senior campaign in 1998-99, he was named First Team All-UAA. The Christian Brothers Academy graduate is the fourth all-time leading scorer at the school with 1,223 points and was inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.
A member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches and frequent camp clinician, Leone earned a Master of Science Degree in Instructional Technology and Media Management from the SUNY Potsdam School of Education. He also has multiple ties with Oswego State as his brother, Joe, was a captain of the men’s basketball team in 2000-01 and his sister, Lindsay, is an alumnae of the College.