INTERIM TAG REMOVED: Caetano named Head Women’s Basketball Coach Adams State

Story Courtesy: Eric R. Flores, Adams State Director of Sports Information

After spending the 2021-22 women’s basketball season as Interim Head Coach for the Adams State University women’s basketball program, ASU Athletic Director Katelyn Smith has officially named Mario Caetano as the next Head Coach.

Caetano was named to the position after former Head Coach Jaime Green has resigned to pursue new opportunities. “I want to thank Coach Green for everything she has done for the Women’s Basketball program,” said Smith. “I appreciate her hard work and dedication to the program during her time here and we wish her the absolute best in her future endeavors.”

Caetano took over before the first regular-season game of the season. Under Caetano’s leadership, the Grizzlies had their most successful season in over a decade as they finished with a 12-15 overall record and a 10-12 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference record. Despite finishing with the eighth-best record in the conference, however, they failed to qualify for the RMAC Tournament by percentage points due to the RPI.

“Coach Caetano has proven that he can lead this team to success,” said Smith. “He is an exceptional recruiter and coach and we are excited to have him here to continue to build off the successes from last season and continue to move this program forward.”

“I’m ecstatic to get the opportunity to lead this program. I fully believe that this will be a championship-caliber team, and cannot wait to get started,” said Coach Caetano. “After stepping in this previous November as the interim coach, I saw right away that this program has the willingness and the hunger to compete for postseason play; and the team proved that this season. With the personnel, we have returning, the future of Adams State Women’s Basketball is very bright.”

This season the Grizzlies finished tenth in the NCAA Division II statistics ranks for total steals (346) and eighth in steals per game (12.9).

Coach Caetano becomes the tenth coach for the Grizzlies, according to the NCAA Coaching database, and already has the sixth-most wins in program history with 12, needing just three to move into the top five. Former Head Coach Kelly Kruger, who coached from 2006-2013, holds the most wins for the Grizzlies with 96 in seven seasons.

“I want to thank President Cheryl Lovell and Athletic Director Katelyn Smith for their trust. A huge thank you to the Adams State and Alamosa community for their continued support throughout the year,” said Caetano. “I want to also thank my wife and my son for their selflessness and their support day in and day out.”

Caetano became a member of the Grizzly family in the fall of 2020, after serving an eight-year stint at Northern New Mexico College. During his time at NMMC, Caetano served as the Men’s Associate Head Coach for the Eagles before taking over in December 2018 as the Head Coach for the women’s team.

During his time as the men’s coach, he helped NNMC to their first ever A-II Conference Championship and NAIA National Tournament appearance (2014-2015).

The Northern New Mexico College alumnus earned his Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies with an emphasis in Humanities (2012). He then went on to complete his Master of Science degree in Recreation and Sports Sciences from Ohio University (2015).

For two years, Caetano coached for one of the nation’s top-ranked travel basketball programs, Vegas Elite Basketball Club (VEBC). VEBC competed in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), which consists of the nation’s top high school players. 

Caetano also was fortunate enough to coach in “The Basketball Tournament” (TBT), for three consecutive summers (2016-2018). TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination tournament, winner takes all $2 million grand prize. TBT is an ESPN and Puma-sponsored event that consists of professional basketball players from all over the world.

Caetano is married to Shaniqua Caetano, together they have one son, Makai (6), and their dog Cubby.

“My top priority will be embracing our current players and adding the right pieces to this group that will complement our championship goals,” said Caetano. “The DNA of this basketball program will be based on our commitment to excellence and the hunger to become 1% better every day.”

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