Steve Masiello out as Manhattan men's hoops coach

Steve Masiello is out as Manhattan's head coach just two weeks before the season.

Masiello was entering the final season of his contract, and no agreement on an extension was reached.

"We thank Coach Masiello for his service and wish him well," Manhattan athletic director Marianne Reilly said in a statement Tuesday. "As we look to building successful teams for the future -- and with recruiting season beginning soon and Coach Masiello's contract ending in April 2023 -- we determined that it was the right time to begin rebuilding from the top down."

Associate head coach RaShawn Stores has been named the interim head coach.

"Manhattan College is my school," Stores said. "I am grateful and proud to have this opportunity and excited about the season ahead."

In the wake of Masiello's exit, star forward Jose Perez, the MAAC's preseason player of the year, confirmed to ESPN that he plans to enter the transfer portal.

Perez tweeted earlier in the day about his connection to Masiello.

This would have been Masiello's 12th season with the Jaspers. He emerged as one of the hottest young coaches in the country during the early part of his tenure at Manhattan, leading the program to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015. The Jaspers haven't finished above .500 since that last tourney appearance, however. Masiello leaves with a 162-177 record at Manhattan.

A longtime assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville, Masiello nearly turned that early success at Manhattan into a bigger job. He was initially hired by South Florida in 2014, but the school discovered hours later that he had never received his degree from the University of Kentucky, where he was a walk-on for the basketball team. The deal was terminated, and Masiello returned to Manhattan.