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      Faces of Widener

      Chris Carideo, Assistant Athletic Director and Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball Team

      chris carideo

      Chris Carideo

      Carideo is a Widener graduate class of 1996 and is currently assistant athletic director and head coach of the men’s basketball team.

      When it comes to Widener athletics, Chris Carideo, has been a key player for a long time.

      Carideo joined the Widener athletic staff in the summer of 2006 as assistant athletic director and head coach of the men's basketball team. But, that wasn't Carideo's inaugural introduction to the community.

      He first came to Widener in 1991 as an undergrad. In his freshman year, Carideo earned a spot on the basketball team and went on to become one of the most decorated players in the school's history.

      As a student, Carideo often thought about the possibility of coming back to Widener as a coach. He had a taste of coaching towards the end of his student career when he worked as the assistant basketball coach while finishing his degree. But, it wasn't until 2006, after gaining head coach experience at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York, that the opportunity to lead Widener's basketball team presented itself.

      Joining the Widener athletic staff as a former student and player provides Carideo with a unique perspective and a vision for how his players can get the most out of their student-athlete experience.

      "Coming back to Widener, I've been able to see both sides of it," he said.

      As a coach, winning is always a top priority, but Carideo knows first-hand that the lessons and values of the game go beyond the scoreboard.

      "Part of it is winning but the student-athlete experience is the most important thing for me," Carideo said. "It's about 'are [the students] good teammates? Are they better people when they leave than when they come in?’ That’s what we strive for."

      As assistant athletic director, one of Carideo's top responsibilities is to ensure that all uses of the fields and facilities run smoothly. This includes managing the master schedules for the gym, field and field house, which are occupied at any given time by the 20 varsity sports teams and the expanding intermural program.

      Carideo takes on dual responsibilities when basketball season kicks off in October. As head men's coach Carideo is responsible for player recruitment, practice and game planning, coaching and traveling with the team.

      Carideo's favorite Widener memory was winning the Conference Championship in 2007 during his first year as head coach. After a hard fought regular season, the team finished strong to make the playoffs, win back-to-back playoff games and cinch the conference title. Carideo has made memories since then, but he undoubtedly cherishes that first win.

      "That one stands out because it was my defining time early on in my coaching career at Widener."

      When Carideo is not on the court or running the facilities, you can find him spending every minute with his family, including his 2-year-old son CJ.

      "He's getting bigger every day and he's just a lot of fun to be around. I look forward to getting home every day to be with him," he said. Carideo and his wife, Stephanie, are also preparing to welcome their second child in April.

      Carideo and his family reside in Woodlyn, Pennsylvania.


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