Home CollegeSLU Billikens Phil Gaetano Joins SLU as Assistant Coach

Phil Gaetano Joins SLU as Assistant Coach

by Brian Kunderman
Phil Gaetano has joined the Saint Louis men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, SLU head coach Josh Schertz announced today.
Gaetano comes to SLU after six highly successful seasons at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass.
“I have known Phil for a long time, have tried to hire him previously, and I am thrilled to be able to hire him here at SLU,” Schertz said. “Phil brings so much to the table – he is incredibly smart, has great energy and is great on the court. He is an elite player-development guy, recruits at a high level, and is a basketball savant from an Xs and Os standpoint. Phil has a great work ethic and is a terrific connector and relationship builder. He is going to make a massive impact on our program and players.”
“My family and I are incredibly grateful to be joining the SLU and St. Louis communities,” Gaetano said. “I can’t wait to work with Coach Schertz and the staff and experience the magic he created everywhere he has been. SLU is a first-class organization in every way, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here, roll up my sleeves, and get to work.”
At Merrimack, Gaetano has been part of a coaching staff that has led the Warriors to three conference regular-season championships in the past five years. Merrimack went 21-12 overall and 13-3 in league play this past season before falling in the conference tournament championship game. The Warriors won the NEC Tournament title in 2023 but were not eligible to compete in the NCAA Tournament as they were transitioning from Division II.
Gaetano specializes in guard defense and has coached two NEC Defensive Players of the Year in Juvaris Hayes and Jordan Derkack. Additionally, Merrimack ranked among the top 100 in defensive efficiency at KenPom.com in four of the last five seasons.
Additional coaching experience for Gaetano includes a stint at Coppin State in 2017-18 and the Maine Red Claws (NBADL affiliate of the Boston Celtics) in 2016-17.
He served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Sacred Heart, in 2015-16.
Gaetano was a point guard at Sacred Heart from 2011-15. He holds the school record with 730 career assists, which also ranks third in NEC history. Gaetano earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Sacred Heart. He was the first-ever three-time NEC Scholar Athlete of the Year (2013-15).
A native of Wallingford, Conn., Gaetano prepped at Sheehan High School where he played for his father, head coach Joe Gaetano.
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