Antigua leaves St. Ray's for Manhattan Col.
After helping lead St. Raymond to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship in March, Oliver Antigua is stepping down as Ravens coach to become an assistant coach at Manhattan College.
Antigua, who resigned from St. Raymond Monday, joins Steve Masiello’s staff at Manhattan where he’ll primarily be responsible for recruiting. A former assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville, Masiello last year led the Jaspers to a 21-13 record in his first season in Riverdale.
“I think the job that Coach Masiello has done in a very short period of time made it very attractive to me as a coach to work with someone like him,” Antigua said. “The team is built to win now with a really strong group of returning players. I know a lot of people at the campus. I’ve been contemplating moving on to go to college over the last few years and I think after winning a city title and graduating this group, it was the right time to move on.”
Masiello also recently hired Rasheen Davis as an assistant after Davis, a former Rice assistant, spent two seasons at Xavier after two years at Pittsburgh and one at Louisville.
“We are very excited about the addition of one of New York City’s most successful coaches who brings a great wealth of knowledge about the metropolitan area,” Masiello said. “Oliver will help enhance our brand in New York City and take Manhattan College basketball to the next level. He is a high character person with great integrity and we are very fortunate to add him as a member of our staff. Not only will he help us in recruiting and coaching, but he will serve as a role model for these young men.”
In 10 years at the helm at St. Raymond, Antigua guided the Ravens to three CHSAA Class AA titles, including back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, and had a 186-100 overall record.
Following consecutive losses to Christ the King in the CHSAA Class AA semifinals, senior-laden St. Raymond defeated Holy Cross, 66-58, at Rose Hill Gym to win a seventh city title.
Antigua was a four-year assistant under Gary DeCesare and took over when DeCesare, who coached the Ravens for 16 years, took an assistant job at the University of Richmond.
Antigua, who played on the freshman and junior varsity teams at St. Raymond’s in the early 1990s, follows in the footsteps of his older brother Orlando, who is an assistant under John Calipari at Kentucky. Antigua said as he cleaned out his locker in the coaches office Monday, the reality that he’s leaving St. Raymond hit him.
“This is a special place and it’s somewhere I’ve called home for a long, long time,” Antigua said. “It’s meant a lot to me and my family. The relationship with the players and staff is something I’ll miss and competing against some of the great coaches in the league – I think our league is fantastic – and I’ll miss that as well.”
A native of the Dominican Republic, Antigua also coached the country’s U-17 squad through Central American qualifiers for the Pan-American Games last summer.
“He’s a lifelong St. Raymond guy and a part of the long line of success we’ve had,” St. Raymond athletic director Ben Aguirre said. “With three championships in 10 years, he’s definitely done his part to seal the St. Raymond legacy in terms of being a powerhouse in New York. It’s definitely a bittersweet day, but we wish him well as he moves forward.”
As for Antigua’s successor at St. Raymond, Aguirre said he wouldn’t put a timetable on naming a new coach, but wants to do so sooner than later. A search committee, led by Aguirre, is being formed and should be finalized in the next day or two.
“We’re definitely not trying to drag our feet with this,” Aguirre said.
Should St. Raymond decide to stay in house, as it did when Antigua replaced DeCesare, longtime freshman coach and varsity assistant Jorge Lopez would be considered a strong candidate.
“Jorge has been my right-hand man for nine years, he’s put his time in and paid his dues,” Antigua said. “I think he’d be a fantastic head coach and that is who I’m recommending for the job.”
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