Ron Naclerio is part basketball coach, part father, and part workout guru. He's been a staple of the New York City basketball scene for more than 29 years, leading Cardozo high school to the label of perennial contender each and every season in the PSAL.
Naclerio has worked with kids from broken homes, sent three players to the NBA (Rafer Alston, Royal Ivey, Dwayne Causwell), and earned the reputation as the best individual workout instructor on any level of basketball.
Now he wants more.
Just days after Danny Hurley left St. Benedict's Prep to coach Wagner College, Naclerio wants a chance to coach at the Division One level and is eyeing the vacancy at St. Francis in Brooklyn. The previous coach, Brian Nash, resigned earlier this week to deal with family problems.
"So many people have told me that I should look into the situation because my strengths can possibly be strengths that St. Francis needs," said Naclerio on Friday from Florida where he was vacationing. "People have told me that I might be limiting myself by never looking into a college opportunity. I've discussed going to college with so many high school guys like Mo Hicks (Rice) and Tiny Morton (Lincoln) and we're all rooting for each other for opportunities like this."
If St. Francis were to bring Naclerio aboard, they would immediately integrate themselves into the fabric of the five boroughs. The Queens native is one of the more recognizable faces in the history of the Big Apple's basketball lineage.
"I'm addicted to New York City basketball and I'm addicted to Cardozo," Naclerio said. "Sometimes addictions are good and some times addictions are bad. Maybe that's why I've done such a good job at Cardozo and limited other opportunities for myself within basketball. I've always looked at it as the love of the job, not the money that comes with the job."
According to sources, the top candidates for the Terriers position are former St. John's and St. Francis assistant Glenn Braica and recently added Hofstra assistant Allen Griffin.
If either of those land the job over Naclerio, he won't be bitter.
"If its meant to be, it's meant to be," Naclerio said. "If not I'm happy with another 20 years at Cardozo."