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50 Impactful Mid Major Assistants

By Jake Stanbrough, Jack Pollon, Matt Pennie, Sully Carter, 05/05/20, 1:00PM PDT

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To be a coach considered for this list, you must not have been a head coach at the NCAA Division I level before (a comeback list will be posted at a later date) and you must be a coach at one of the following 13 conferences. To determine the mid-major conferences, we averaged the conference RPI's together over the past six seasons and took the top half of the conferences not including the Power 6 (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, PAC 12, & SEC). Tiebreakers were given to the conference with the highest RPI in the most recent year. 

American 7.166

Atlantic 8.666

West Coast 9.333

MAC 10.833

Mountain West 11.333

Missouri Valley 11.666

Colonial 14.166

Southern 16.333

Sun Belt 16.500

Ivy League 16.666

Conference USA 17.833

Summit League 19.166

MAAC 20.666

After months of research and consulting with AD's, Presidents, search firms and numerous influencers in the basketball space, we present the Silver Waves Media 50 Impactful Mid Major Coaches List. This is in alphabetical order by last name. 

**Were on previous list before job change


 

Jason Shay - East Tennessee State **

Shay's combination of success, experience, x and o's, and recruiting over the past twenty years has put him in the position as one of the prime assistant coaches throughout college basketball. Known for being an integral part of strategy, Shay has played a major role in marquee matchups and the overall success at UW-Milwaukee, Tennessee, Northwest Florida State, North Dakota, and East Tennessee State. After two seasons as a DOBO from 2001-2003, he made his mark as an assistant under Bruce Pearl at UW-Milwaukee with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. The success led him to the University of Tennessee under Bruce Pearl where he was able to help turn the program into one of the most dominant programs in college basketball from 2005-2011. During this time Tennessee reached six straight NCAA Tournaments, which included the program's first Elite Eight and a 195-96 record. After Tennessee, Shay spent two seasons at Northwest Florida State helping coach the team to a 62-6 record and back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA National Championship game. After two seasons at North Dakota with one postseason appearance, he arrived at ETSU and was again able to help put together one of the most dominant runs in college basketball under Steve Forbes. The Bucs amassed a 130-43 record, four appearances in the SOCON championship, and two NCAA Tournament appearances in five years.

 

Brooks Savage - East Tennessee State **

A rising star in the college ranks, Savage has gone from a graduate assistant at Tennessee under Bruce Pearl to a prominent assistant coach. Having worked under five Coach of the Year award recipients during that time, the South Carolina native has proven to be a ruthless recruiter and a savvy coach in his own right. After a brief stint at Tulane as a video coordinator, Savage made his mark early as an assistant at Northwest Florida State winning a school record 32 games and reaching the NJCAA National Championship game. The early success in his career earned him a spot as an assistant for one year at Presbyterian before moving to Chattanooga under Will Wade from 2013-2015. The Mocs went 40-25 in two seasons with Savage in the mix before he departed for ETSU to work under his former boss, Steve Forbes. The Bucs amassed a 130-43 record, four appearances in the SOCON championship, and two NCAA Tournament appearances in five years. For Savage, this marks a 210-92 record as an assistant coach finishing first or second in conference in seven of nine seasons.

 

Drew Adams - Bradley 

Success has followed Adams almost everywhere he has been as he has risen through the ranks. Adams earned his first job as a student assistant under Bruce Pearl during one of the most successful seasons in program history.   Adams helped the Vols earn their first number one national ranking and consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. After graduating from Tennessee in 2009, Adams spent the following two years on Tom Crean's staff at Indiana before what would turn out to be one of the biggest rebuilds in NCAA basketball. After two years helping the program get its feet, Adams joined the staff at New Mexico for the first time as an assistant coach where he helped the Lobos to a 99-36 (.733) record, two regular-season league titles, three Mountain West postseason tournament crowns, and three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Adams has spent the last five years at Bradley helping the program progress from just five wins in 2015-2016 to conference champions and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament just three years later.. He has helped bring in three All-MVC honorees and five MVC All-Freshman recipients in four years, two more than any other team in the league during that span.

 

Gameli Ahelegbe - South Dakota 

Ahelegbe got his start in coaching after he served as the club director for 43Hoops Basketball Academy, founded by former NBA player Chris Carr, from 2007-2010. He was able to develop over 20 Division I players and over 40 scholarship athletes during that time. His network with players and coaches in the north earned him a spot as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Minnesota State, where he helped the Mavericks to a 25-5 record and a number one seed in the NCAA DII Tournament in his lone season. It was the first time Ahelegbe had been back since being team captain for the team. Ahelegbe moved on to North Dakota from 2011-14 where he helped the program to back-to-back Great West Conference Tournament Championships and three consecutive trips to the postseason. His successful run at North Dakota led him to South Dakota where much of the same trend continued. During his five years at South Dakota, the program has turned in three 20-win seasons, set a school record for wins in a season, won one regular season championship, advanced to one NIT Tournament, and have reached as high as No. 3 in the Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

 

Tramel Barnes - South Dakota State 

Barnes has earned a reputation as a rising star in the college coaching ranks that many people have their eyes on. In his first season as an assistant coach with South Dakota State, the Jackrabbits turned in a 22-10 record including a share of the regular season conference championship. Barnes was able to put another regular season conference championship under his belt along with a Mountain West Tournament Championship and a NCAA Tournament appearance in the year prior at Utah State as a DOBO. Barnes was the top assistant at Southwest Minnesota State from 2012 to 2018, helping the Mustangs to a pair of first-place finishes in the South Division of the Northern Sun Conference in his final two years with a 53-15 record in that span. Six Mustangs earned all-conference honors and 24 were selected to the academic all-conference teams during Barnes' tenure. He was named to the Under Armour 30-Under-30 list by the NABC in 2019.

 

Martin Bahar - San Diego 

Bahar has built up quite the reputation in the basketball community. You can’t find too many people that have bad things to say about the young assistant who hails from Potomac, MD who will be entering his 12th season on the sideline in 2020-21. Known for his basketball mind, USC was able to use his brains for the game to help lift the Trojans to three 20-win seasons and postseason appearances in his role as the director of scouting and assistant coach. In 2017-18, he was an assistant coach and helped lift the team to 24 wins and an NIT appearance. During his second season with the Trojans in 2016-17, Bahar was a member of a coaching staff that piloted USC to its most wins in program history (26) and reach the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row. In his 13 season career in various roles at Georgetown, Princeton, Fairfield and USC, Bahar has helped teams reach a total of five NCAA Tournaments and nine overall postseason appearances.

 

R-Jay Barsh - Boise State 

Barsh is creating some buzz in coaching circles and the basketball community. The Tacoma, WA native already has experience as a head coach in his DNA after he spent seven seasons as the head coach at Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL. While there, Barsh led the program to three NAIA Division II National Tournament appearances, the first for the program in school history. In just his second season, Southeastern went 27-7 and reached the NAIA Fab Four, which earned him the Don Meyer National Coach of the Year Award. Prior to Southeastern, Barsh served as an assistant at Tacoma Community College for four seasons. He helped the program earn 3 Western Region titles and the NWAACC title in 2012. Barsh's success in Tacoma didn't stop there, he also spent time at Lincoln High School for one season where he helped guide the school to the state's Final Four. Barsh got his start at the University of Puget Sound from 2005-07. In his first season, the program finished with a 26-5 mark and a NCAA DIII Elite Eight appearance. Barsh helped Boise State to a 20-12 record in his first season.

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Larry Blunt - Drake 

Blunt just completed his first season at Drake, finishing 20-14. Prior to this, he spent two seasons at Canisius, where he helped guide the Golden Griffins to a share of the Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season title and an overall record of 21-12 in his second year. The league title was the program’s first since 1993-94 and the 21 wins equaled the school record for regular season wins. Prior to Canisius, Blunt was the head coach at Orangeville Prep in Canada. He worked with over a dozen players that would earn Division I scholarships during his time up north including Jamal Murray and Thon Maker who drafted No. 7 and No. 9 in the 2016 NBA Draft. Blunt moved to Canada in 2012 and took over as the head coach for the Oshawa Power of the National Basketball League of Canada. During the 2012-13 season, he helped lead the Power to a franchise-record for victories in a season.

 

Graham Bousley - George Washington 

Bousley looks to continue a trend of success at George Washington after previous stops at Siena, Mount St. Mary's, Rice, and VCU. In one season at Siena, Bousley contributed to a team that finished tied for second in the conference season standings after being picked last and winning only eight games in the previous season. Additionally, Bousley was able to recruit 2019-20 preseason player of the year and Lou Henson Award Preseason Watch List recipient Jalen Pickett after being named rookie of the year during the previous season under Bousley. Bousley came to Siena after two seasons at Mount St. Mary's where he helped guide the program to 38 wins. The Mount captured both the NEC Regular Season and Tournament Championships during his first season on staff in 2016-17, culminating with an NCAA Tournament appearance and First Four victory over New Orleans. He served as a DOBO at Rice for Mike Rhoades for two seasons after completing his masters in a graduate assistant role for Shaka Smart at VCU. VCU made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances while amassing 53 wins during his two seasons on staff. 

 

Tanner Bronson - Chattanooga 

Bronson has helped improve Chattanooga's win totals in each of his last three seasons with the Mocs. After a 10-win season in his first year with the program, the Mocs completed a 20-win season just this past year. A graduate of Wisconsin, Bronson was a walk-on for HOF Head Coach Bo Ryan at Wisconsin for three seasons after serving as a student manager his freshman year. After many historic seasons at Wisconsin, Bronson moved on to be an assistant coach for two seasons with the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League in his first year out of college. He joined Rick Majerus' at Saint Louis staff as a graduate assistant from 2011-12 and was quickly elevated to an assistant coach a year later. His five-year run with the program coincided with the best in the history of the Billikens program. The Billikens were able to 103 games, take home two Atlantic 10 regular season championships, one Atlantic 10 Tournament championship, make three NCAA Tournament appearances, and receive a national ranking during three of the seasons.

 

Jamal Brunt - VCU 

Brunt just completed his second season under Mike Rhoades. Previously, he was an assistant coach Miami (FL) for three NCAA Tournament seasons including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016. The 27 wins that year were the second most in school history and the team finished as the No. 10 ranked team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Brunt was also an integral piece in landing McDonald's All-American and NBA Draft pick Lonnie Walker in 2017 as well as McDonald's All-American Dewan Huell and Jordan Brand Classic All-American Bruce Brown in 2016. Before Miami, Brunt spent ten seasons at Richmond that included five 20-win seasons, multiple rankings in the national top 25, one Atlantic 10 Championship, and a Sweet Sixteen run. Additionally, Richmond earned more wins than any other Atlantic 10 school from 2009-14, which was toward the conclusion of Brunt's tenure. Brunt also was responsible for signing Justin Harper, who was selected 32nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

 

Chris Burgess - BYU 

Burgess has quite the pedigree as he played for Rick Majerus at Utah and reached the national championship playing for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke after being the No. 1 overall recruit in the country and a McDonald's All-American in high school. After learning under two legends, Burgess got his start as a coach at Salt Lake CC and Indiana Hills CC before moving on as an assistant coach at Utah Valley. In four seasons at Utah Valley, Burgess was able to contribute to back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2017-18 and 2018-19, a school record of wins in a season (25) after just 12 wins the year prior, and three straight postseason appearances. Much of that same success has been translated in one year at BYU. The Cougars turned in a 24-8 overall record in 2019-20 and a final national ranking of No. 18. The Irvine, CA native has been known for his development of big men during this time. He has coached a handful bigs that have earned all-conference selections and at Utah Valley the big men were ranked among the most efficient offensive players in the country according to Synergy. BYU will look to capitalize on their first year success with a strong recruiting class coming in, including Purdue transfer Matt Haarms who Burgess helped recruit.
 

JD Byers - VCU 

 Upon graduation from Lebanon Valley, Byers spent one at Fairleigh Dickinson as a graduate assistant before getting his feet wet as a college assistant for one year at his alma mater. Randolph Macon would be his next destination as an assistant coach where he helped bring in 66 wins during a three year span, including advancing to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 2010. Byers earned his first division one assistant job in 2010-2011 at St. Francis (PA) for one season before moving on to Radford where he was instrumental in leading a team from just six wins in his first season to 22 wins and Radford's first postseason win in its NCAA Division I era in his third and final season under Mike Jones. Byers then joined forces with his former boss, Mike Rhoades, at Rice where he was again instrumental in turning around a program from 12 wins in his first season to 23 wins and a postseason appearance in his third and final season. In three years at VCU, the program has already experienced the Rams' first outright A-10 regular season championship and another NCAA Tournament appearance.

 

Raphael Chillious - East Carolina 

A respected recruiter around the country, Chillious has left his fingerprints on multiple programs as he's made his way throughout the college basketball landscape. In two years with East Carolina, Chillious was able to assemble an impressive No. 10 ranked recruiting class. Chillious managed to pull off a top 25 ranked recruiting class in his one season at UCONN as he did at his previous stop, the University of Washington, numerous times. Chillious was responsible for the nation's No. 7 class in 2015 featuring NBA First Round Draft picks Dejounte Murray and Marquese Chriss. In 2017, he was key in the signing of first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz. Quincy Pondexter, Nigel Williams-Goss, Terrence Ross, Tony Wroten, CJ Wilcox, Matisse Thybulle, and Isaiah Thomas were other recruits he helped secure at Washington that went on to play in the NBA. Chillious got his start in the high school ranks, which was highlighted by his time at South Kent School where he coached Isaiah Thomas, Dorrell Wright, Andray Blatche, and Dion Waiters.

 

Serge Clement - Marist 

Clement's entering his 3rd second as an assistant coach at Marist. In his first season at Marist in 2018-19, the Red Foxes had their highest win total in five seasons, their longest winning steak in four season, and their highest road win total in 11 years. His responsibilities at Marist include work with all facets in the program, including recruiting, game planning, and on-the-floor coaching. He is primarily responsible for working with the development of the program's guards. Clement previously at Saint Peter’s from 2013-18. During the 2016-17 season, he helped the Peacocks claim the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) championship. Saint Peter's finished at 23-13, the program's second-highest win total in its history. The Peacocks closed the season with 11 wins in their last 12 games. In Clement's tenure at Saint Peter's, the Peacocks reached the semifinals of the MAAC Championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018. In 2018, Saint Peter's became the first #9 seed to defeat a #1 seed in tournament history.At Saint Peter's, Clement recruited All-MAAC selection Davauhnte Turner and one of the top shot-blockers in program history, Samuel Idowu. He was also instrumental in the development of All-MAAC honorees Desi Washington, Trevis Wyche, and Antwon Portley.

 

Matt Cline - Eastern Michigan 

Cline has risen quickly in the college coaching ranks. The Binghamton, NY native got his start at Florida State under Leonard Hamilton as a graduate assistant 2011-2013. During his time with the program, the Seminoles won their first ever ACC Tournament Championship earning a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Upon completion of his masters degree, he was hired by Steve Forbes at Northwest Florida State. The team reached an overall No. 1 ranking during his one season with the program before getting a job at Eastern Michigan as a DOBO from 2014-2016. During his first stint with the program, the team advanced to one CBI postseason tournament before Cline took on the same role at East Tennessee State under Steve Forbes. In one season as a DOBO in Johnson City, the Bucs advanced to the NCAA Tournament after winning the regular season and conference tournament titles. 

 

Steve Curran - St. Bonaventure 

Widely considered as one of the tougher jobs in college basketball, St. Bonaventure has done an unbelievable job in recent memory culminating nearly twenty wins a season, finishing towards the top of the Atlantic 10 conference, and making NCAA Tournament appearances. Part of that success has been due to Steve Curran and the job he has done in Allegany, New York. Over his ten seasons with the program, the Bonnies have posted five seasons winning at least nineteen games, have had two NCAA Tournament berths, and have had one NIT appearance. Since 2015, the Bonnies have captured 85 wins - the second most among all Atlantic 10 members. Curran's ability to bring high level players that have done well in their careers and develop them has been phenomenal. Jaylen Adams (Atlantic 10 POY/NBA), Matt Mobley (Atlantic 10 First Team), Courtney Stockard (Atlantic 10 First Team), as well as many other all-conference selections have been recruited and developed over the years by Curran. The program has been taken to new heights that have never been seen before as a result. Curran came to St. Bonaventure via Central Connecticut State. The program 56-34 NEC record in five seasons and went to one NCAA Tournament. He was responsible for recruiting the all-time leading scorer at CCSU and the program's first rookie of the year.

 

Riley Davis - UT Arlington 

 A "rising star" according to multiple people that we have talked to, Davis got his start at Howard JC where he was able to compile a 49-12 record and a WJCAC Conference Championship in two seasons from 2007-2009. Additionally, with some of the recruits he was able to bring in, Howard won the 2010 NJCAA National Championship a year after Davis left to join the staff at Texas as a student assistant from 2009-2011 and one year as a graduate assistant from 2011-2012. Davis spent one year as an assistant at Sam Houston State before moving on to be an advanced scout for the Charlotte Bobcats in 2013-2014.  After one year he would return again to Texas as video coordinator for one NCAA Tournament season before moving to Tennessee with Rick Barnes to take on the same role.  The Volunteers were SEC Champions in Davis' second year turning in a 26-9 record before he joined Chris Ogden's staff at UT Arlington. We expect to hear much more from Davis in the coming years.
 

Ken DeWeese - Wyoming 

Coming off helping produce one of the best three-year stretches in program history at Northern Colorado, DeWeese has positioned himself as one of the more consistent assistant coaches at mid major level in recent years.  The program turned in 69 wins in that three year span and also set a school record for Big Sky Conference wins in a two year span, the program's first postseason appearance, their first postseason title, and single season win total school record of 26 games. Prior to his time at Northern Colorado under Jeff Linder, DeWeese spent six seasons at UTEP amassing 120+ wins in a span of six seasons.  DeWeese's 2013 recruiting class at UTEP was ranked in the Top 25 by numerous outlets and included a national Top 100 recruit in Vincent Hunter that earned First Team All-Conference honors in just his second year with the program. His recruiting also helped lay the groundwork in one season at Utah Valley after the team was able to translate a 12-18 record to a 19 and 20 win seasons in the two years that followed. DeWeese got his start at Mary Hardin-Baylor where the program was able to compile an 85-27 record in four seasons, two NCAA Division III tournament berths, and an appearance in the 2013 D3 National Championship game.

 

Brian Eskildsen - Harvard 

Eskildsen got his start under Naismith HOF head coach Pat Summitt at Tennessee as a program assistant. He brought two national championships with him when he transferred over to the men's side as the DOBO at New Orleans. After one year, he landed on the west coast at Stanford under Johnny Dawkins for three seasons as video coordinator.  The program enjoyed a 26-11 season in his second year that included a NIT Championship.  Eskildsen arrived at Harvard after one season as an assistant for the first time at Rice under Ben Braun.  In his six years at Harvard, he has helped the Crimson to three Ivy League championships, two trips to the NIT Tournament, and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2014-2015.  The program has turned in it's fifth-highest win total and it's first win in the NIT Tournament as well. Eskildsen has been instrumental in helping recruit and develop (9) all-Ivy League selections in almost every year he's been with the program including Seth Towns (All-American), Bryce Aiken (First Team), Noah Kirkwood (First Team).

 

Skye Ettin - Princeton 

Ettin, who is in charge of the program's west coast recruiting efforts, has made quite the impression on many people throughout the basketball community. A member of the Princeton staff for the past five seasons and an assistant for the past four, Princeton got off to an early start of success in Ettin's first season as an assistant. The team hauled in a perfect 14-0 Ivy League Conference record, won the Ivy League Tournament, and nearly defeated Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Ettin's efforts during the first two 20-win seasons earned him recognition on the NABC's prestigious 30 under 30 list. Additionally, in his four years as an assistant coach with the program they have produced at least one professional each year.

 

Ali Farokmanesh - Colorado State 

 Well known for his shot that beat Kansas to advance to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, Farokmanesh is also starting to make a name for himself as an assistant coach. After three years in a support staff role under Tim Miles at Nebraska, the former Northern Iowa guard joined Niko Medved at Drake for one season where he was able to help contribute to a 10-game turnaround from the previous year and most wins in the Missouri Valley Conference in 10 years. He is contributing to another turnaround at Colorado State as the Rams have gone from 12 wins in their first season to 20 wins in the second season with Farokmanesh on staff.  We expect to hear a lot more from him as he continues to move his way through the college coaching ranks.

 

Mike Farrelly - Hofstra 

Farrelly has been a big part of the success that Hofstra has been able to experience the last seven years. The program averaged over 20 wins a season, has won three CAA regular season titles, advanced to two CAA Tournament title games, has set a school record for victories, has advanced to two NIT Tournaments, and has advanced to one NCAA Tournament during that time. Before coming to Hofstra, Farrelly spent two seasons at Niagara under Joe Mihalich as well. The program was able to win the MAAC regular season title in his second in final year with the program in 2012-2013, which gave Farrelly a total of four conference titles in the past 8 years.  Farrelly got his start in the basketball business with Hoop Group from 2007-2010 and played for the legendary Phil Martelli at St. Joe's.  Farrelly was a part of two teams that advanced to NCAA Tournaments during his time as a student-athlete with the Hawks.

 

Scott Garson - Santa Clara 

Garson just completed his second season at Santa Clara after being hired in 2018. He spent the previous five seasons as the head coach at College of Idaho where he led the Yotes to a 129-42 record, three Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season championships, three league tournament titles and four NAIA national tournament appearances, including a run to the 2015 national quarterfinals and 2018 semifinals. In 2015, he was awarded the Red Auerbach National Coach of the Year award. Prior to College of Idaho, Garson was a part of Ben Howland's staff at UCLA for nine seasons, worked under Rick Majerus at Utah for five seasons, and spent a year at Pepperdine. During Garson’s tenure at UCLA (2004-13), the Bruins amassed a record of 222-90, including Pac-10 titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, a Pac-12 title in 2013, and league tournament titles in 2006 and 2008. The Bruins qualified for six NCAA tournaments and made trips to the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – reaching the 2006 national championship game. At Utah, Garson worked under Rick Majerus as a graduate assistant, video coordinator, and as an assistant in his final year. The Utes won three Mountain West Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times during Garson’s time there, while amassing a record of 112-47. Santa Clara just completed a 20-win season in Garson's second year.

 

Nat Graham - Penn 

Graham has experienced consistent Ivy league success as a player and as a coach at two different schools over the course of twelve total seasons. A graduate of Penn, Graham was a part of two undefeated Ivy league championship teams at Penn from 1993-1995 that went a combined 47-9 in two seasons.  Graham returned to the Ivy League as a coach in 2005 at Cornell under Steve Donahue where he helped guide the Big Red to 111 victories and three Ivy League titles in five years.  In his last season with the program, the team went 29-5 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament that would ultimately help land the staff a new challenge at Boston College. After four seasons at Boston College, Graham returned to his alma mater in the Ivy League. He has helped lift the program from the bottom of the Ivy League and has enjoyed one NCAA Tournament appearance since returning to Philadelphia.

 

Talvin Hester - Louisiana Tech 

Hester has helped Louisiana Tech to two 20-win seasons during his two years in Ruston, LA. Hester brought 16 years of coaching experience to LA Tech with the majority of that coming from the state of Texas where he worked for eight different programs at the college and professional level. Before one season at Oral Roberts, Hester helped turn around a Houston program. After one year under Kelvin Sampson, Houston was able to post a nine win improvement going from 13 wins to 22 wins in year two. In year three, Houston again posted 20+ wins and earned back-to-back appearances in the NIT. Hester also spent one season at Stephen F. Austin posting a 27-5 overall record, Southland Conference regular season title, and a berth in the NIT. In two years with San Jose State, he was able to help the program to a 17-16 record, which was the most wins in thirty years. Additionally, Hester spent five seasons early on in his career at Prairie View A&M from 2005-10 where he helped the Panthers to back-to-back winning seasons in his final two seasons, which had not been done in decades.

 

Ross Hodge - North Texas 

Hodge has turned in some impressive seasons over the years. The Dallas, Texas native got his start at Texas A&M Commerce from 2003-2005 where he helped lead the program to conference championship and a spot in the NCAA DII Sweet 16 in his second season. After two years as an assistant at the DII level and one at the JUCO level, Hodge was hired as a head coach at Paris JC where he produced a 83-17 record, two regular-season championships, one Region 14 Title, an 8th place finish in the NJCAA Tournament, and two Coach of the Year honors.  Hodge had similar success after moving to be the head coach at Midland JC for two years where he guided the program to a 63-7 record, a conference title, a region title, and a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Tournament.  A 146-24 record overall in five seasons as a head coach. His success landed him a job at Southern Miss for one season under Larry Eustachy where the Golden Eagles turned in a 25-9 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.  Ross followed Eustachy to Colorado State where the program enjoyed a four-year stretch with 87 wins, one NCAA Tournament, and the best season and four-year stretch in program history. From there, he joined Arkansas State under Grant McCasland where he helped turn in the 4th 20-win season in school history and had the second-biggest turnaround in the NCAA during the 2016-2017 season. Hodge has spent the last three seasons under McCasland at North Texas turning in another three 20 win seasons, including a CBI Championship in his first season.

 

PJ Hogan - Northern Iowa 

Hogan has been a part of consistent success at Northern Iowa over the past 17 years with the program. During his time with the Panthers, they have advanced to seven NCAA Tournaments including one Sweet Sixteen. The team has compiled a 374-205 (.646) overall record during that span. Prior to Northern Iowa, Hogan was the lead assistant at Southwest Minnesota State for two seasons where he helped lead to an overall record of 38-18 and two second place finishes in the Northern Sun Conference. The team's 2001-02 win total of 21 games tied the school record. Hogan also had stops at North Dakota State for one season and at Wayne State for one season. At Wayne State, he was part of one of the most successful seasons in school history, as the Wildcats went 26-6 and reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen.

 

Jonathan Holmes - Elon 

A 15 year coaching veteran, Holmes came to Elon this past year after culminating one of the best eleven year stretches in William & Mary history. During his time with the tribe, the Bloomington, IN native helped produce four of the program's nine 20-win seasons, captured a regular season title, advanced to the CAA Championship game three times, and appeared in two NIT Tournaments. From 2013-2016, the Tribe accumulated three-straight 20-win seasons, which was a first at William & Mary since 1949-1951. Additionally, Holmes helped develop 22 All-CAA picks, nine 1,000-point scorers, 13 NABC All-District selections, and seven CAA All-Rookie selections. The Bloomington, IN native was a four-year letterman at North Carolina under Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty and enjoyed a Final Four appearance in 2000.  He was runner-up for Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1999 playing at Bloomington South under his father, JR Holmes, who has the most wins in Indiana high school basketball history.

 

Matt Kingsley - Yale 

Kingsley's career got off to an impressive start at Clarkson University. In one season with the program, he was able to help put together the second most wins in school history and earned the program it's first postseason berth in school history. In three years that followed, Kingsley worked under legendary head coach Jere Quinn at St. Thomas More School where he helped the program compile a 31-3 record in one season and at Eastern Connecticut where he helped rebuild a 7-19 team to a 14-12 record in year two, including a school record eight conference wins.  After his initial four years as a young coach, Kingsley arrived at Yale where he has been the past 14 seasons as a part of James Jones' staff working his way up from a volunteer assistant to associate head coach. During this time, he has played a significant role in the most successful stretch in the long history of Yale Basketball. Over the last seven years, the Bulldogs have won 143 games, the most of any Ivy League school by a significant margin, posted a 72-26 Ivy League mark, made two NCAA Tournament appearances, won their first NCAA Tournament game in program history, and won four Ivy League championships.

 

Preston Laird - Arkansas Little Rock 

 Laird has risen quickly in the college coaching ranks. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Laird played four seasons at Memphis under John Calipari as a walk-on before eventually earning a scholarship and serving as a team captain. Upon graduation, he served in a variety of roles at New Mexico State under Marvin Menzies. During his four years with the program, the Aggies made three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2013-15, posting an overall record of 97-43 and going 52-10 in conference play. Laird followed Menzies to UNLV where he served in a support staff role for two seasons before being promoted to an assistant coach prior to the 2018-19 season after being part of the UNLV staff that won 20 games in the previous season. After one year with UNLV, Darrell Walker hired Laird at Arkansas Little Rock as an assistant coach and the program thrived in his first year finishing with a 21-10 record and regular season conference championship. Others have taken notice of his quick rise as he was selected by the NABC on the 2017 Under Armour 30-Under-30 list.

 

Jason Ludwig - Santa Clara 

Highly regarded in coaching circles, on the west coast, and in the basketball community in general, Ludwig has paid his dues over the years rising from a student manager at UCLA to an assistant coach at Santa Clara.  He spent ten years at UCLA in various roles, a year at Santa Clara as a video coordinator, two years at Arizona State as a DOBO, and a year at Mississippi State as a DOBO before getting his shot at Santa Clara as an assistant coach. His time in support staff roles was highlighted during his time at UCLA where he was a part of the Bruin team that went to back-to-back NCAA Final Fours. Ludwig got his start in coaching working as a head coach for the Double Pump AAU program founded by the Pump brothers and coached the likes of Paul George and Klay Thompson. Additionally, Ludwig founded the Young Coaches Social at the Final Four, the Latino Association of Basketball Coaches, and runs a free basketball camp for kids in his home town of Montebello, CA every year. With Santa Clara on an upward trend after turning in a 20-win season and Ludwig's relationships on the west coast, we believe he is destined to keep moving up the ranks.

 

Matt McKillop - Davidson 

In twelve seasons on the sideline at Davidson, McKillop has been able to help compile 254 wins and a 156-60 (.722) record in conference play. The school has experienced their first-ever NCAA at-large selection after capturing the A-10 regular season title in 2015 and their first A-10 Tournament Championship during that time as well. McKillop has made his mark on the recruiting trail during this time where he was responsible for bringing in Peyton Aldridge (2018 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year), Jack Gibbs (4th all-time in points), and Brian Sullivan (2nd Team All-Conference).  McKillop got his start at Emory University where he helped lay the groundwork of the program and lead the team to its first-ever win over a top-ranked team.

 

Pat Moynihan - Appalachian State 

Moynihan, who is Lefty Driesell's grandson, is starting to make a name for himself in basketball circles throughout the country. He has already been a part of three significant win improvements at three different schools in his young career as a coach. In one season at Troy, Moynihan was able to help spark a 13-win improvement, which resulted in the Sun Belt Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. He joined the Presbyterian staff in 2017-2018 turning in an 11 win season after a 5 win season the year prior and helped improve that amount again to 20 wins in 2018-2019.  The quick job turnaround of the program earned the staff a spot at Appalachian State where they yet again have shown improvement. After 11 wins in their first season with the program, Appalachian State just completed an 18 win season and will look to capitalize on their improvement next year in the Sun Belt. With early success and college basketball coaching bloodlines, we expect Moynihan to keep climbing in the ranks.

 

Brendan Mullins - Southern Illinois 

Mullins just completed his first season with the Salukis under his brother, Bryan Mullins, after spending the previous two seasons at Illinois State under Dan Muller. The Redbirds advanced to the Missouri Valley Conference Championship game in 2018. He was quickly hired by the Redbirds after Muller caught the eye of what he was able to do with in-state rival UIC. After a 5-win season in 2015-16, Mullins was able to help turnaround the program to a 17-win season in 2016-17 after he helped recruit the Horizon League Freshman of the Year as well as many others. Mullins came to UIC via Wright State where he served two years as a DOBO and three years as an assistant.  During those five years, Wright State put together three 20-win seasons including two while Mullins was an assistant. His father, Mike Mullins, is the director of the Illinois Wolves AAU program.

 

Claude Pardue - Tulane 

Pardue, who just completed his first season at Tulane under Ron Hunter, brings much success to the bayou. After serving as an assistant at Georgia State for all eight years of Ron Hunter's tenure with the program, he helped guide the Panthers through their most successful stretch in program history, which included six-straight winning seasons and three NCAA Tournaments in a five-year span from 2015-2019.  Numerous program records were set during this time and Georgia State established themselves as one of the most consistent mid major programs statistically during this time.  Additionally, Pardue helped recruit and mentor 3 Sun Belt POYs during this eight year span with multiple other players earning honors for their play on the court as well.  Prior to his successful time at Georgia State, he spent one season on staff in a support staff role with Tim Floyd at UTEP.  Pardue was a team captain at Emory and an academic all-conference honoree before two years as a graduate assistant at Georgia State.

 

Tyler Parker - South Alabama 

Parker is another young rising star on this list. He joined the South Alabama staff in 2018 as a director of operations after one season in the same role at Nicholls State where the team was able to win a share of the Southland Conference title. Prior to Nicholls State, Parker served as an assistant at Shorter University where he was able to increase the program's win total in his second year and coach Phil Taylor, who was named the Ron Lenz National Player of the Year for NCAA Division II after leading all NCAA divisions in scoring with 34 PPG. Parker also spent time at Faulkner University where he helped compile a 43-17 record in two years and at Crowley's Ridge College where he contributed to the best season in school history. After completing his first season as a division one assistant with a 20-11 record under Richie Reilly at South Alabama, we believe Parker is well on his way to an exciting career.

 

Eric Peterson - Utah State 

Peterson has greatly benefitted Craig Smith over the past six years at Utah State and South Dakota. Before two conference championships and two NCAA Tournaments at Utah State, Peterson aided South Dakota to a 48-21 record in the last two seasons in Vermillion, a regular season Summit League Championship, the school's first-ever appearance in the Summit League Tournament Championship game, and appearances in the NIT and CBI. Prior to USD, Peterson was the head basketball coach and Director of Athletics at Williston State in North Dakota. During his tenure, the team compiled a 52-15 and captured the 2014 Mon-Dak Conference Championship and the 2013 Region XIII Championship. In his final season at WSC, the Tetons won 27 games, had their best winning percentage in program history and earned the program's first-ever top-25 ranking. Peterson also had four years experience with Williston State as an assistant and two years as an assistant at Minnesota State Moorhead. He helped MSU-Moorhead to their first winning season in 10 years in year one and a No. 16 overall ranking in year two.

 

David Ragland - Utah State 

A number of different programs have benefitted and won with Ragland in his 16 years on the sidelines. The veteran from Evansville, Indiana, who is known to be a tireless recruiter, has left his fingerprints on the likes of Indiana State, Bowling Green, Northern Kentucky, Valparaiso, Utah State and as a head coach at Vincennes JC. After three years as an assistant at the start of his career at Vincennes, Ragland was promoted to head coach where he turned in back-to-back 22 win seasons and a trip to the finals of the NJCAA District Tournament. His early success earned him a spot at Indiana State in what would turn out to be one of the more successful stretches in program history that included both a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010-2011 and nearly 80 wins in four seasons. Another postseason appearance and 20+ win season was added to his resume during the 2014-2015 in one season at Bowling Green before setting foot on the Northern Kentucky campus for the start of the 2015-2016 season where he would help lay the foundation of the program.  After a 9-21 season, the Norse earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament one year after and started what would be one of the most successful stretches in program history behind a recruiting class that Ragland helped bring together.  Two of his recruits would go on to earn all-Horizon League honors during the 2017-2018 season.  Two seasons at Valpo were highlighted by one NCAA Tournament appearance before moving on to Utah State where the program has amassed a 54-15 record, two Mountain West conference championships, and two trips to the NCAA Tournament in two seasons in one of the better program overhauls of late.  Ragland has been able to coach two NBA Draft picks and has mentored at least one all-conference selection at every stop.

 

John Richardson - Old Dominion 

Richardson got his start at Woodside High School in Virginia where he won two state championships and received multiple Coach of the Year Awards. Additionally, he coached with the Boo Williams AAU program that gave him many deep connections to the east coast's young talent and coaches before stepping foot on a college campus. After many successful years at the high school level, Blaine Taylor hired Richardson as a DOBO where he served from 2005-08. He was elevated to assistant coach from 2008-10 before taking a job with Seth Greenburg at Virginia Tech from 2010-12. During his time in the college ranks he was able to put together a combined record of 323-191 (.628) with a record of 285-162 (.638) in all of his years at Old Dominion. The Monarchs have turned in eight 20-win seasons, have won the conference regular season championship two times, have won the conference tournament three times, have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times, and have advanced to the NIT twice. Richardson has mentored and recruited the likes of Kent Bazemore, Malcolm Delaney, Dorian Finney-Smith as well as many others that have gone on to receive all-league honors.

 

Martin Richter - Drake 

Richter was an applauded hire by Drake after spending two previous years as the head coach at Florida Southwestern. Richter was extremely successful in those two years amassing a 56-10 record and advancing to the Elite 8 of the NJCAA Tournament. Before taking the job at Florida Southwestern, Richter was an assistant for four seasons with Florida Gulf Coast under Andy Enfield. The Eagles won more than 80 games in that span with three postseason appearances including a 2013 historic run to the Sweet Sixteen as a No. 15 seed. Prior to FGCU, Richter spent four years as an evaluator and college scout for ESPN. His knowledge of the recruiting landscape and connections in the basketball community grew tremendously as a result. Richter also spent two combined years as an assistant at Chipola JC under Greg Heiar accumulating a 69-4 record in two seasons plus third and seventh place finishes at NJCAA Tournament. He was also an assistant at Bowling Green under Dan Dakich, a video coordinator at Indiana for one season, and spent a year overseas coaching in Ukraine.

 

Marcus Schroeder - St. Mary's 

Schroeder has risen quickly in the St. Mary's program. The Concord, CA native joined the program in 2012 as a graduate assistant, was promoted to DOBO in 2014 for one year, and is now the associate head coach with the program. The Gaels have averaged an astounding 27.2 games a year in his five seasons as an assistant and have never finished below third place in the conference. Additionally, the team has won one regular season conference title, advanced to two NCAA Tournaments, and has picked up multiple national rankings along the way. Schroeder was a four-year letterwinner at Princeton and led the nation in minutes per game as a freshman.

 

Duane Simpkins - George Mason 

A veteran coach, Simpkins has developed meaningful relationships throughout the country the past twenty plus years as a coach. A former McDonald's All-American at DeMatha Catholic High School under legendary HOF coach Morgan Wooten, Simpkins earned a scholarship to play for HOF coach Gary Williams at the University of Maryland. He was a three-time honorable mention All-ACC selection at Maryland before embarking on a professional career after his graduation in 1996. After many years as a high school coach in the DC area, he joined forces with Pat Skerry at Towson before joining Wes Miller at UNCG in 2012-13. It was Wes Miller's second year with the program in what would ultimately become a great run to this day. In his  three seasons he helped lay the groundwork as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. Simpkins hauled in seven newcomers in his first recruiting class under Miller that would go on to win 25 games, a school record, and a regular season championship in their senior seasons. Since, the UNCG program has become one of the hottest mid major programs in the country.

 

Demarlo Slocum - UNLV 

Known for his abilities as a recruiter, Slocum has deep grassroots ties to the west coast. He served as the head coach of Las Vegas Prospects before moving to the college ranks and had many players at his disposal throughout his time with the program that was ranked among the best on the west coast. His relationships earned him a spot at Idaho where he spent one season laying the groundwork for a team that would go from 4 wins to 17 wins two years later. He was quickly wanted at Colorado State where he spent four seasons helping improve the win total in every season. Slocum caught the eye of Larry Krystowiak who hired him on staff at Utah as well. After going 6-25 in his initial year, the Utes were able to turn in a 9 game improvement in year 2,  another 6 game improvement in year 3, another 4 game improvement in year 4, and won a total of 27 games in year 5.  Utah enjoyed two NCAA Tournament appearances including a Sweet 16 run in 2014-2015.  The team never finished below fourth in the Pac 12 rankings after the first three years and earned national rankings on multiple occasions.

 

Casey Stanley - Iona 

Before three seasons at Arkansas State where he helped improve the win total every year, Stanley served at UNC Wilmington under Kevin Keatts. In three seasons with the Seahawks as an assistant coach, the team posted a combined record of 72-28 (.720) and a 41-13 (.759) mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. In addition, the Seahawks went to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2016 and 2017 and won a school record of games in 2017. Stanley served as a video coordinator for Richard Pitino at Minnesota for one season prior to his time at Wilmington where the Gophers posted a 25-13 and won the NIT Championship. Stanley was in the same role during a successful season at Florida International for one year and also served as a video coordinator at Louisville under Rick Pitino for one season. Stanley got his start at Iona under Kevin Willard where he worked as the Director of Operations before moving on to Seton Hall in the same role. With success almost everywhere he's been and working under a legend like Rick Pitino, Stanley has an exciting future. 

 

Kevin Sutton - Rhode Island 

Known for his reputation in coaching circles and throughout the basketball community as one of the "good guys" in college basketball, Sutton has been a part of 15 nationally ranked programs and coached nine McDonald's All-Americans. Eight of his former players have gone on to play in the NBA, and 17 have gone on to play in European and Asian professional leagues. A coaching veteran of 33 years, Sutton has had stops at Georgetown, George Washington, James Madison, Old Dominion, as well as three different stints coaching for USA Basketball. In addition to his time as a college coach, Sutton also has a decorated career as a high school coach as he coached at five nationally-ranked high school programs.  In seventeen years, he amassed a record of 489-102 record, which included two national championships. Sutton has extensive experience working at prestigious camps and basketball events throughout the country that have helped him continue to cultivate relationships over the years in the basketball space. 

 

Vince Taylor - UCF 

Taylor brings a wealth of experience to Central Florida after many years as an assistant at the NBA and college levels. A Duke alum, Taylor got his start at the University of Pittsburgh for one season and briefly at Wyoming before joining Denny Crum's and Rick Pitino's staffs at Louisville for seven seasons.  While there, Taylor was responsible for recruiting one McDonald's All-American, one All-American, two prominent NBA Draft picks and many top recruiting classes.  After two seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves,  Taylor joined forces with Tubby Smith at Minnesota from 2007-2013 where he helped bring in 10 Top 150 recruits in six years and produce five 20 win seasons and three NCAA Tournament appearances. He would also follow Smith to Texas Tech where he was again instrumental in recruiting success that helped propel the team steadily improve. His time in Orlando with Central Florida under Johnny Dawkins have been highlighted by the fourth most wins in a season in school history, a NCAA Tournament Appearance, and the first road win over a ranked opponent in school history.

 

Charles Thomas - Duquesne 

Thomas has been a part of a big turnaround at Duquesne. Since arriving at the school four years ago as an assistant under Keith Dambrot in 2016-17, the team has improved their win total every season going from 10 wins to 21 wins this past season. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh with Duquesne, Thomas also accompanied Dambrot on the sidelines at Akron where the program experienced much success for seven seasons. The Zips won 20 games in every season, advancing to two NCAA Tournaments, two NIT Tournaments, and one CBI Tournament. Additionally, the program received it's first national ranking, won a MAC regular season championship, and had a combined record of 139-68 in those seven seasons. Thomas also has two years of coaching experience at Northwood University, one at Radford, and spent 15 years playing professionally, including one year for the Detroit Pistons.

 

Drew Valentine - Loyola Chicago 

Highly regarded as one of the rising stars in the business by multiple people, Valentine got his start at Oakland where he was the youngest assistant ever hired by Greg Kampe. In two seasons, he helped the program to 48 total wins and a pair of postseason appearances, including a NIT berth in 2016-17. The two year mark is the program's second-most over a two-year stretch, bested only by the 51 victories from 2009-11, when Valentine was a player and helped the Golden Grizzlies to consecutive NCAA appearances. He moved on to Loyola after those two years as an assistant with Oakland where he has been the past three years. He made an immediate impact in his first year as the Ramblers recorded a school-record 32 victories, won four games against nationally ranked opponents, claimed the outright sweep of titles for the league, advanced to the NCAA Final Four, and finished No. 7 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. In his three seasons at Loyola, Valentine has helped the Ramblers win consecutive regular season conference titles for the first time in program history, has reached back-to-back postseasons, and produced back-to-back Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year award winners. Valentine got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Michigan State under Tom Izzo and is the brother of Chicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine.

 

Luke Wicks - Pacific 

Wicks has been a part of the resurgence that Damon Stoudamire has helped lead at the University of Pacific the last four seasons. During the 2019-20 season, the Tigers were able to turn in their highest finish ever in the West Coast Conference and their most league wins. Since Wicks' arrival, Pacific has had five individual All-WCC selections, including all 10 seniors graduating in the past three years. Wicks came to Pacific after six seasons at San Francisco under Rex Walters where he helped give some life to a program that hadn't had a winning season in five years. The Dons turned in three winning seasons under Wicks' aid including two 20-win seasons and both the program's highest overall win total and conference win total in over thirty years. This led to three postseason berths and an appearance in the NIT. Prior to San Francisco, Wicks got his start at Sheridan College for two seasons where he contributed to a 53-14 record and an appearance in the 2010 Region IX championship game. As a player, Wicks was on two NCAA Division II Sweet 16 teams at Northern State under legendary coach Don Meyer.

 

Jimmie Williams - Furman 

Williams has made an impact at Furman in two seasons. The Paladins turned in a school record for victories for a second consecutive season after they posted a 25-7 overall record and a 15-3 Southern Conference mark in 2019-20. The first season in Greenville, SC was also very successful as the team won 25 games, received the school's first ever national ranking in the Associated Press Top 25, and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. Williams spent three seasons at William Jewell College before coming to Furman. While there, he helped turnaround a program in his third and final year by winning 20 games and securing a No. 20 national ranking, which was a first for the school since moving to NCAA Division II. Prior to William Jewell, the Olathe, KS native spent four seasons at North Greenville where he helped guide the Crusaders to their first Conference Carolinas title and NCAA Division II Tournament appearance after posting a school-record 22 wins.

 

Antoni Wyche - Siena 

Wyche just completed his first season with the Saints. In his first season, he helped guide the program to a regular season MAAC Championship and a 20-win season. Prior to Siena, Wyche shined at Lehigh under Brett Reed where he helped guide the Mountain Hawks to five 20-win seasons, four appearances in the Patriot League Championship game, a CBI Tournament appearance, two NCAA Tournament appearances, a first round upset of No. 2 seed Duke, and a school record for wins in a season. In ten years with the program under Dr. Brett Reed, Wyche was instrumental in achieving nine winning seasons. Additionally, he was instrumental in the recruitment and development of CJ McCollum, a two-time Patriot League POY and 2013 top ten NBA Draft pick. 

 

Greg Youncofski - Loyola Marymount

Considered one of the rising young stars in the college basketball coaching ranks, Youncofski comes to LMU after one season as the Director of Recruiting at UCLA where he helped the new staff greatly exceed expectations as the Bruins finished second in the Pac-12. Before UCLA, Youncofski was an assistant coach at Cincinnati for one season after rising through the ranks in a support staff role for five seasons. In his one year as an assistant with the Bearcats, Youncofski helped the Bearcats compile a 28-7 record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Cincinnati finished second in the American Athletic Conference’s regular-season standings and won the AAC Tournament.  Additionally, he helped develop Jarron Cumberland who won AAC Player of the Year.  Through his six seasons working alongside Coach Cronin at Cincinnati, the Bearcats registered a record of 161-47 (.774 winning percentage). Cincinnati advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of those six seasons, notching two AAC regular-season titles and two AAC Tournament crowns. In 2018, Youncofski was recognized by the NABC on the Under Armour 30-under-30 list. Youncofski's brother, Eric, is the DOBO at UCONN under Dan Hurley.