Joe Callero returns for his eighth year at the helm of the Seattle University men’s basketball program. In 2006-07 Callero led the team back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1969. After taking over a struggling program in 2001-02, Callero has rebuilt Seattle University to a place of national prominence.
Last season Callero led Seattle to it's third consecutive winning season with an 11-7 conference record and a 18-9 record overall. Two players earned individual recognition for their play on the court. Senior forward Ryan Coldren was named to the 2nd team All-GNAC while Junior Michael Wright made Honorable Mention.
The 2006-07 team tied for the GNAC championship compiling an 11-5 conference record and a 20-9 record overall. The overall record had the highest winning percentage (.690) for Seattle since the 1968-69 season. With the share of the conference title Callero’s squad earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Earning a sixth seed in the NCAA Division II West Regionals, Seattle upset Cal Poly Pomona to advance to the second round.
The 2006-07 season was indeed a banner year for Callero, his players, and Seattle University. Seattle recorded an eight game winning streak, the longest since 1984-85. It also set a home attendance recond for the Connolly Center North Court of 1158.
In addition, several of Callero’s players earned individual honors. Ryan Webb and Sam Kirby were named to the GNAC All Conference Second Team. Webb, Kirby, David White, and Leigh Swanson were all named GNAC Conference Players of the Week during the season. Swanson also earned academic honors being named CoSida Second Team all Academic All District and joined Travis Welt on the GNAC Academic All Conference Team.
In 2005-06 Callero guided Seattle to a 16-11 season that saw them on the brink of returning to the NCAA tournament. Callero’s squad had a 5-0 start for the first time in 39 years, a win over a Division I school for the first time in 26 years, and an 11-3 record at home, the best record in the Connolly Center since the 1987-88 season. He rallied his team to a four-game winning streak near the end of the season to get in contention for a postseason berth as the team eventually finished 9th in the West Region.
In the 2002-03 campaign, his second year as head coach, Callero brought the team its first winning season in nine years, and his Redhawks finished with the program's best winning percentage since the 1984-85 season. Seattle finished with a record of 16-11, a 10-game improvement from the previous year and the second-best turnaround in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Callero's success has been very impressive and the Seattle University athletic department knew they were getting the right man to revive the basketball program when Callero was announced as the team's head coach in June 2001.
From 1999-2001, Callero guided the University of Puget Sound to a combined 22-25 record, after taking over a program that had been on the down slope for a number of years. In his second of two seasons, Callero posted a record of 14-10, the Loggers' first winning season in nine years. His UPS team won its first six games of the season, the best start in 20 years for the program. Callero also served as a physical education instructor and the Director of Basketball Camps at Puget Sound.
The year before joining UPS, Callero served as an assistant coach under Henry Bibby at the University of Southern California. That season (1998-99), the Trojans earned a bid to the NIT postseason tournament.
Before joining the USC staff, Callero was a prominent figure in the northwest basketball coaching scene. In two three-year stints at Highline Community College (1989-92, 1995-98), Callero compiled a career record of 130-49. He guided his team to back-to-back NWAACC championships in 1997 and 1998 with a combined record of 63-2, earning honors as the Northwest Division Coach of the Year in both seasons.
During their time at Highline, Callero coached Brian Scalabrine who currently plays for the NBA's Boston Celtics.
Between his time at Highline, Callero served as the head basketball coach and guidance counselor at Sumner High School from 1992-95. He led Sumner to its first winning season in six years. Callero also directed school district camps, including the Portland Trailblazers head coach, Nate McMillan Basketball Camp.
A graduate of Central Washington University, Callero received his BA in psychology in 1986 where he helped guide the Wildcats to NAIA national tournament appearances in his two seasons at the university. He received his master's in education in post-secondary counseling from Seattle University in 1991 and his AA from Highline Community College in 1983.
Coach Callero resides in Renton with his wife Erika and their daughter Malia, 8.