East Lansing boys basketball coach Steve Finamore resigned Sunday, just days after being suspended by the school’s athletic director.
Finamore, 53, has been head coach at East Lansing the last eight years, posting a 128-44 record, including consecutive 20-0 regular seasons the past two years. He was 15-2 this season prior to being suspended last week following an argument with a player’s parent and East Lansing athletic director Tom Hunt after a win over Lansing Eastern, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Finamore wouldn’t elaborate on his suspension, only to say he met with the school’s athletic director Sunday afternoon and resigned.
“We had a meeting yesterday,” he said. “They didn’t push me out, they didn’t force me out, but the house was burning and we didn’t have enough water so I got the heck out of there.”
Finamore plans to remain in the game in some capacity. He says he has already been offered a job by IMG Sports Academy in Florida, and has been contacted by three high schools about potential openings. He said he recently received a text from Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, inviting him to practice Wednesday before the Spartans head to New York for the Big Ten tournament.
Finamore, a native of Brooklyn, said he just might hop in his car and head for New York to watch the Big Ten tournament.
Finamore definitely will have interest in the Big Ten tourney next year when his player, East Lansing 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward Brandon Johns, will be playing for Michigan.
Finamore, who was a one-time coach at St. Peter’s College in New Jersey, helped develop Johns into a Mr. Basketball finalist. He is averaging 28 points and 10 rebounds this season.
“Brandon has matured so much,” said Finamore of Johns. “He’s got stronger, mentally tougher, his ball handling has improved and he’s really, really been instrumental in our wins this year. We’re 62-4 in our last 66 games and a lot of it has to do with Brandon.”