|Position:||Associate Head Coach|
|Alma Mater:||Westfield(Mass.) State College|
|At Miami:||4 Years|
Chris Caputo joined the University of Miami men’s basketball program in April of 2011.
Caputo enters his fifth season with the Hurricanes and his 14th season on head coach Jim Larrañaga’s staff. He worked 11 seasons as an assistant coach, his primary responsibilities included recruiting and scouting the opposition, and in May 2015 was elevated to associate head coach at Miami, and the team's defensive coordinator.
After a 20-11 mark in the regular season, the 2014-15 Hurricanes went on to win four-straight postseason games, earning a spot in the NIT Championship game in Madison Square Garden. Miami’s 25 wins are the second-most in program history, behind UM’s 29 in 2012-13. In January, the Canes downed eventual national champion then-No. 4 Duke, 90-74, at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the only team to defeat Duke at home this season. Miami also defeated No. 8/7 Florida and Syracuse on their home courts, two of Miami’s 10 regular season wins away from home. With primary duties of handling the scout for all opponents, Caputo led Miami to fourth in the ACC in scoring defense (63.2 ppg). Under the tutelage of Caputo, junior forward Tonye Jekiri was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team and along with classmates Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, all three were honorable mentions to the All-ACC team.
With no starters returning from the 2013 ACC Championship squad, the Hurricanes finished the 2013-14 season No. 11 in scoring defense and No. 39 in field goal defense in the NCAA. Caputo helped guide Miami to its seventh-consecutive winning season, taking five of the last eight games. The Canes finished the 2013-14 season 17-16 (7-11 ACC), with five overtime contests and 13 games decided by five points or less, despite returning only 13 percent and 15 percent of the team’s scoring and rebounding, respectively. Led by five seniors, Miami’s defense was among the best in the conference, finishing second in field goal defense (40.7%) and third in scoring defense (59.6 ppg). Five Hurricane seniors graduated from the hoops program for the second-straight year.
Caputo and the Hurricanes posted an historic season in 2012-13, winning the ACC regular season and tournament championships, then playing in the Sweet 16 after earning a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Miami was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country this season, winning 29 total games, including 15 in ACC play. He helped lead Miami to four 20+ point wins over ACC opponents, including a 27-point rout of No. 1 Duke and victories against North Carolina (+26), Florida State (+24) and Boston College (+22).
The team’s scout-team coordinator, Caputo coached the Canes to top 50 national rankings in turnovers per game (12th), scoring margin (33rd), scoring defense (39th) and field goal percentage defense (48th). He also helped Miami to 10 road wins, and a 14-1 mark at home with his intricate knowledge of opponents’ tendencies and styles.
Caputo worked daily with All-American and ACC Player of the Year Shane Larkin, as well as ACC Defensive Player of the Year Durand Scott and All-ACC performer Kenny Kadji. Larkin, the Lute Olson National Player of the Year, was also ACC tournament MVP and was a finalist for the Bob Cousy, Naismith and John R. Wooden awards. Larkin left UM after his sophomore season to enter the 2013 NBA Draft.
All six seniors on the Sweet 16 team earned academic degrees from the University of Miami and one player was listed on the All-ACC Academic Team.
After his first season as an assistant coach with the Hurricanes, Caputo is already able to look back at a year that was filled with memorable accomplishments. With his assistance, the team recorded nine ACC wins, amounting to a winning record in conference play for the first time since the program joined the ACC for the 2004-05 campaign. The Canes ultimately tied for fourth in the league standings, the highest the team ever finished in the ACC. Although Miami had some quality wins throughout the regular season, the team’s 1-1 record in the ACC Tournament was not enough to get UM to the NCAA Tournament. Instead the team bested Valparaiso in the NIT, before losing to the eventual NIT Championship runner-up, Minnesota.
Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of the entire season was when Miami beat No. 7/5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 5, 2012, to earn the program’s first ever away victory over the Blue Devils. UM’s Reggie Johnson led the team to 78-74 overtime win, scoring 27 points and snagging 12 boards. As a result, the Canes earned themselves national recognition by getting their first votes in the AP Poll since 2010. The Hurricanes then defeated rival FSU, ranked No. 15/16 at the time, in front of a raucous UM crowd at the BankUnited Center. The victory was UM’s first win over the Seminoles since 2009.
Individually, Kenny Kadji, Durand Scott and Shane Larkin stood out by receiving a variety of honors: Kadji was chosen for the All-ACC Third Team, Scott was recognized as an All-ACC honorable mention performer and Larkin was voted onto the ACC All-Freshman squad.
Caputo played a major role in George Mason’s run to the Final Four in 2006, putting together scouting reports to prepare the Patriots as they played nationally-ranked teams and future NBA players in nearly every round.
He has also helped lead the Patriots to the postseason for a Mason-record four-straight seasons -including NCAA berths in 2008 and 2011. In 2011, the team defeated Villanova to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament, earned a regular-season CAA title and posted a school-record tying 27 wins. In 2009, he helped Mason to an NIT bid and its second-straight 20-win season, and in 2008, Caputo helped the Patriots to their second-highest win total in school history as they beat nationally-ranked Kansas State and won the CAA title for the first time since 2001.
Caputo has gained national and local attention as one up the up-and-coming coaches in the nation. In 2014, Sports Illustrated mentioned Caputo as one of the top 20 assistants ready to make the jump to a head coaching position, and as an assistant at Mason, Hoopscoop.com named him one of the Top 25 non-BCS assistant coaches in the nation. From 2010-2015, Caputo has attended the Villa 7 Consortium, an educational symposium and networking opportunity for some of the nation’s top assistants. Locally, the city named Feb. 24, 2015 Chris Caputo Day in Coral Gables.
Prior to becoming an assistant coach, Caputo worked on Larrañaga’s staff as the video coordinator, coordinated the staff recruiting database and mailing system, as well as serving in other administrative capacities.
A native of Elmhurst, N.Y., Caputo is a 2002 graduate of Westfield (Mass.) State University with a degree in finance and economics. He was a four-year letterwinner as a point guard for the Division III Owls, and served as captain and earned the team’s Outstanding Contributor Award as a senior. A 1998 graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School - Larrañaga’s alma mater - Caputo, too, played for legendary head coach Jack Curran.
Caputo and his wife Julie (Nissenbaum) welcomed their daughter, Lily, in August 2014.