Two pg 7 10-7-21

John Cavaliere was happy to use his connections to land his new coaching job at Putnam Science Academy. Nick Schmidt was hoping to use anything but his connections to land one, too.
Both were hired recently to be the new head coaches of PSA’s Elite and Varsity boys’ basketball teams, respectively.
The 33-year-old Cavaliere spent the last eight years at Concordia College, where he worked his way up from volunteer assistant to head coach. Running the Clippers the last three years, Cavaliere opened a pipeline with PSA, bringing on two former Mustangs – Dan Porcic and Luc Brittian – to play for him there. When Concordia closed down in the spring, Cavaliere went looking for another college job. But a certain prep school came calling.
“Because we were so small,” Cavaliere said, “and because we didn’t have success, and because I had my head down and was trying to build that thing as best I could, I probably didn’t have the best connections throughout colleges. It ends up that the connections I built here, when a spot opened up, Coach Espinosa reached out. I only had to think about a little bit. I love the commitment to excellence here. The standards that they put in, and how successful they are and how their kids are successful.”
Schmidt’s connections to the school are not quite as direct. His father is long-time St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt, who has had great success recruiting PSA players in the last few years, namely Kyle Lofton and Osun Osunniyi.
After graduating from Alfred University, where he was a four-year member of the basketball team, Schmidt served as a graduate assistant coach for two years under his father, and worked closely with Lofton and Osunniyi. He then took a position as an assistant coach at Division III Catholic University in Washington, D.C., last year, and was offered the position with the Mustangs in late summer. This will be his first head coaching job.
“I never want to ride (my dad’s) coattails,” he said. “I never liked that title of being ‘Schmidty’s kid.’ I wanted to make my own name. I could’ve stayed at St. Bonaventure and been with him my whole career. But I wanted to do it my own way. You’re not just trying to use your dad’s name, you’re doing it on your own. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Both have already paid immediate dividends to the program. Not only are they working with their own teams, but they are at every Prep team practice as well, running drills and working with guys one-on-one.
“Both of these guys are going to bring so much to our program, and not just as the coach of their own teams, but also assisting me at the Prep level,” Tom Espinosa said. “I know we are very fortunate to have both of these guys on the sidelines at Putnam Science Academy.”
Cavaliere’s team play tough, they will play with energy, and they will be together. After that, Cavaliere said, everything else will fall into place.
“It starts with me,” he said. “I come from a philosophy of being a coach, you’re a leader by example. You must show that you’re the hardest worker in the room, provide the most energy, and be positive every single day. That can never slip. Because if you demand that from your team, you must show it yourself, otherwise you’re just not being truthful.”
“We’re not going to get outworked, we’re not going to give up. Ever. We’re not backing away, no matter who you are. We’re coming at you, we’re bringing the fight to you. If you’re able to run your stuff against us, we’re not playing our style of basketball.”
Schmidt can get loud too, though he said he’s not over-the-top.
“I’m very competitive, so I want to win. I do tend to get loud, I’m not over-the-top. If I’m yelling, it’s for a reason. Usually it’s just to get the guys going a little bit. I’m not a yeller. If I’m mad at you for something, I’m just going to pull you aside, I’m not going to try to embarrass you or anything.
“For me being a coach the biggest thing, my biggest philosophy, is having relationships with my players,” Nick said. “No matter what you do on the court, it’s about how you treat the kids. I think that’s the biggest thing, having a positive impact on their lives.”
By Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


RocketTheme Joomla Templates