Pechota, Men’s Basketball Managing Through Pandemic

Joe Pechota

At Siena Heights University at times, many coaches will come and go, but some coaches stay for years. It seems like they never leave.

The men’s head basketball coach Joe Pechota has been at Siena for over eight years. Pechota has had the honor of coaching two NAIA All-Americans, who were Keith Jordan and DeMarco Dickerson in the 2019-20 season.

Pechota has coached college basketball at just about every level and has been doing so for 29 years. For the 2020-21 season, Pechota said he decided that he wanted to change up the atmosphere a little bit by adding the addition of coach Aaron Bernard. Just last year he was working with the football team as the runningback coach.

Pechota is a very experienced coach, and prior to working at Siena, he coached at Alma College, Ferris State and Brescia universities, and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne, which was where he also became an interim head coach. 

He was born and raised on the west side of Battle Creek, Mich. When was asked about what got him into coaching, he said, “I knew while playing basketball in high school and in college I wasn’t good enough or big enough to make it to the pros. And I knew that once I got to college, I wanted to somehow to get involved in coaching.”

Pechota said he was blessed with the opportunity to be surrounded by other coaches who were willing to mentor him. He said, “It’s a great way to stay connected with the game and kind of my way of giving back to something that has given me so much.” 

Pechota, unfortunately, said he has had a lot of limitations this year on what he can do with his players because of this pandemic. The main focus this year for Pechota was getting his team to overcome certain things that are out of their control.

Pechota said, “It’s very different when we get here early in the morning for lifting and the fieldhouse is closed and now we have to lift weights in the parking lot.”

He said he’s not mad about any of this because every team that they are playing is going through the same exact thing.

“You’re wasting time, energy, and effort worrying about things that you can’t necessarily control,” He said.

When asked about what kind of players Pechota looks for when he’s recruiting, he said, “We want to see want to see what kind of character the player has on and off the court because that speaks volumes to us. We also want to see if they’re a player that needs motivation or do they motivate themselves.”

As for Pechota’s family and personal life, he graduated from Concordia University in 1995 with a bachelors’s degree in Physical Education. Then went up to Mount Pleasant where he got his master’s degree in sports administration from Central Michigan University in 2001.

Pechota and his wife,Angelina, have two daughters,Emma and Claire.