Joe Mazzulla lands assistant coaching job

September, 28, 2011
9/28/11
2:08
PM ET
Joe Mazzulla, who helped lead West Virginia to a 2010 Final Four appearance, will begin his career as a Division II assistant coach after recently completing his eligibility, according to West Virginia Illustrated.
Former WVU Guard Joe Mazzulla was recently hired as an assistant coach for the Glenville State men's basketball team.

Mazzulla had an opportunity shortly after his senior season to become an assistant coach at Nova Southeastern, but turned it down for the potential opportunity to play professional basketball overseas. Mazzulla did not find any good overseas opportunities and decided to get his coaching career started.

It couldn't have been easy for Mazzulla to give up his playing career. Back in April when he had received the offer to coach at Nova Southeastern in Florida, he appeared not quite ready to hang 'em up just yet.

But now he's moved on to another stage and joined ranks with the coaching community. For someone who overcame injuries and early struggles and established himself as a solid player at a successful program, his experience should be invaluable.

To get an idea for how far Mazzulla has come, Rick Reilly had this during the Final Four run:
This is a kid who, last February, thought his basketball days were over. He was about to have radical shoulder surgery that doctors said no hoops career had ever survived.

Mazzulla came to him on that day with tears in his eyes. "Coach, you think I'll ever play again?" And [Bob] Huggins took him by the shoulders, looked him in the eyes and said, "Well, you're always talking about you being the best soccer player in the state of Rhode Island; you can always go play soccer. You don't need arms for that."

The rest is history. Now Mazzulla might at times have to channel his inner Huggins to get through to a new generation of players. Coming from a guy who played on college basketball's biggest stage, they'd better listen.

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