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50 Impactful Division II Assistants

By Jacob Franco, Jake Stanbrough & Scott Martin , 07/06/20, 1:45PM PDT

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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 Division II Assistant Coaches in alphabetical order.

***School is going Division I Next Year 


CLINT ALLARD - UC SAN DIEGO***

Known for his commitment and knowledge in the player development department, Allard has made an impact in collegiate basketball since 2004. He was a four-year starter and three-time team captain at UC San Diego. Directly after his playing career, Allard spent another four seasons as an assistant coach at UC San Diego from 2008-2012. After spending two seasons at Cal Poly Pomona (2012-2014) serving as an assistant coach, Allard returned to the UC San Diego coaching staff as Associate Head Coach. Since returning in 2014, he has helped lead the program to new heights. Allard has also helped lead the team in winning four straight CCAA tournament championships. With the profile that Allard has put together at the collegiate level, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his opportunity.

BRENDAN CLOWRY - UCSD***

Before joining the coaching staff at UCSD, Clowry spent the 2013-2014 season as an assistant coach at Point Loma Nazarene University. He helped lead them to a 20-11 record which then led to winning a National Christian College Athletic Association national championship. Prior to Point Loma, Clowry spent a year as the video coordinator at the University of San Diego. Clowry has been instrumental at UCSD in continuing to build the program alongside Head Coach Eric Olen. His professional playing experience and experience as a college athlete has coincided with his ability to connect with players. He has been key in continuing the upward trajectory of the program. UCSD just completed a 30-1 season including going 21-1 in conference play. 

DOUG DAVENPORT - BELLARMINE UNIVERSITY***

Doug Davenport joined the Bellarmine University men’s basketball program as an assistant prior to the 2016-17 season. In his first season, the Knights won a GLVC East regular-season title and their first GLVC Tournament championship since 2011. Bellarmine also won the NCAA Midwest Region title. Davenport is a 2010 graduate of the university and played for the Knights, including helping win the program’s first GLVC Tournament title. After graduating from Bellarmine, Davenport served on the coaching staff at Xavier. He also was on Coach Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville from 2012-2015 before moving on to Eastern Kentucky University in 2015-2016 where he served under Coach Dan McHale.

Jake Schroeder - Dixie State

Schroeder is in his second stint with the Dixie State program. His time with the trailblazers has spanned eight years collectively as Schroeder boasts a 147-73 (.668).  Schroeder was a part of a building process in his initial years with the program that has helped bolster the program into what it is today. He took six years off to become a local high school head coach where he turned in a 102-46 (.689) record and back-to-back Utah 5A state titles in 2016 and 2017. His time with Dixie State has resulted in five PAC West Conference titles, five trips to the NCAA Tournament, and one Sweet Sixteen finish. Schroeder played collegiately at Portland State where he earned all-conference honors in 2005-06 and won a conference title in 2004-05.

TIM BERGSTRASER - MOORHEAD

Bergstraser has completed two seasons as the full-time assistant for MSUM men’s basketball. He was named to the position in May 2018 after serving as a graduate assistant from 2015-2017 at Moorhead. During this time they went 54-12, won two division championships, and an overall conference championship in 2016-2017. They also went to two consecutive NCAA tournaments with Bergstraser on the coaching staff. Bergstraser is known for his strong work ethic and understanding of team and player development. For his coaching efforts, he received the NABC Under Armour 30-Under-30 award.  He has also spent the 2017-2018 season as an assistant coach at Quincy (Ill.) and the 2014-2015 season at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

DREW CHURCH - CENTRAL WASHINGTON 

Courtesy of Central Washington Athletics

Courtesy of Central Washington Athletics

Church will enter his third season at Central Washington next year. This past season, Church helped CWU become one of the best defensive teams in the GNAC. CWU held their opponents under 70 points per game for the first time since 2010.   Prior to CWU, Church spent seven years at Lewis-Clark State College. During Church’s tenure with the Warriors, LCSC advanced to the NAIA National Tournament five times, including a Sweet 16 berth during the 2015-16 season, while also claiming three Frontier Conference regular-season titles and two tournament championships. Over his last six seasons at LCSC, the Warriors averaged 25 wins per year. In addition to coaching nine NAIA All-Americans and 20 All-Conference performers, Church helped LCSC to an 18-0 start and a No. 3 national ranking in 2013. During his summers at Lewis-Clark State College, Church was involved with one of the best AAU programs in the Pacific Northwest, Select Basketball. Church was the head coach of the Select Basketball “White” 17U team based in Boise, Idaho

David Cone - Biola

Cone is 165-85 (.660) in 8 seasons on sideline for Biola and Wayland Baptist. Both programs have combined to appear in four postseason tournaments during Cone’s 8-year run. Even more impressive is that Biola has not been eligible for postseason tournaments in two of the years that Cone has been there, which means that Cone has essentially contributed to four in six seasons. With recruiting as one of Cone’s main focuses, he will look to continue to bolster the roster for his former coach, legendary Dr. Dave Holmquist, as the program continues to transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

MARK DARNALL - CHICO STATE

Darnall has been an integral part of the Chico State men’s basketball program for the past three seasons and serves as Greg Clink’s top assistant. He has helped lead the Wildcats to 29 wins and a postseason appearance in the past two years. Darnall has experience in just about all the aspects of coaching as he served as assistant coach and director of basketball operations at UC Davis from 2011-2016. He spent one season as an assistant coach at University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 2016-2017. His collegiate playing and years of coaching experience will continue to translate Darnall into a great coach.

DAVID DUNHAM - WESTERN WASHINGTON

Dunham has served as head assistant basketball coach at Western Washington since 2016 and has helped lead the Vikings to the GNAC regular-season and conference tournament championships. He was the head coach at Whatcom Community College for three seasons from 2013-16 and was the124 NWAC North Region Coach of the Year. Dunham has been instrumental in recruiting across the west region especially in the Pacific Northwest. His ability to connect with players and utilize his experience coaching at multiple levels has led him to being a staple in recruiting circles. His efforts have contributed to a 81-39 (.675) in 4 seasons as an assistant.

KEFFREY FAZIO - SEATTLE PACIFIC

Fazio spent 10 years at West Seattle, where he started out as an assistant coach before taking over as head coach for the 2012-2013 season. Fazio was the head coach of the Wildcats for six years, with a 92-64 record and is a two-time Metro League Coach of the Year. Fazio has been instrumental in expanding recruiting for Seattle Pacific and is a fixture in the Pacific Northwest.

Jordan Fee - Nova Southeastern

Nova Southeastern has experienced new heights with the help of Fee. The sharks had never advanced to a NCAA Tournament before his arrival and now have with the team’s run to the Elite Eight in 2018-19. In the process, the Sharks rattled off a program-record 29 victories, earning the program's first-ever Sunshine State Conference regular season title, while climbing as high as No. 3 in the national polls. The feat is a part of Fee’s 110-58 (.655) record in 6 seasons as an assistant with a total of 3 NCAA Tournaments. He has finished in the national semi finals twice as a player and as a coach and has also finished in the Elite Eight twice as a player and as a coach. Fee played at both University of Detroit and West Liberty.

Ben Fisher - Drury

Fisher has been a part of consistent winning at Drury during his time as a player and as a coach. He is 62-29 (.681) in 3 seasons as an assistant coach with two NCAA Tournaments and was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams as a player from 2012-15 that included the 2013 NCAA Division II National Championship team. In his three years, Drury has also produced four All-GLVC players, four All-Defensive team selections, two All-Freshman picks, and guard Conley Garrison was named to the All-Midwest Region team in 2019 and 2020. The success should open a lot of doors for Fisher and having a dad that is the former athletic director at the school in Mark Fisher shouldn’t hurt either. Expect Fisher to have a long and successful career.

DARREN FRENCH - CSU LOS ANGELES

Darren French is Cal State LA men’s basketball program’s associate head coach. In 2018-2019, French helped guide the Golden Eagles to one of their most successful seasons in years. The Golden Eagles won 18 games and reached the semi-finals of the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament for only the third time in program history. French has experience coaching at the NCAA Division I and II levels along with spending time at East LA College. French also has extensive CCAA experience as he served as an assistant coach at Cal State East Bay (2010-2013) and at Cal State San Bernardino (2006-08). French began his coaching career at the University of Oregon, where he helped the team to a third-place finish in the Pac-10 and an NCAA tournament bid in 1999-2000. He worked with NBA draft picks Bryan Bracey (San Antonio Spurs) and Fred Jones (Indiana Pacers). French also spent three years at UC Riverside, where he helped recruit and develop 2003 Big West Freshman of the Year Nate Carter. French is known for being one of the best recruiters in Division 2 basketball with experience at multiple levels of college basketball. 

PATRICK FROST - POINT LOMA

Frost has had substantial success in all of his assistant coaching positions. He joined the Point Loma coaching staff in 2019 after spending last season at Western Oregon, in which he helped the Wolves earn an at-large bid in the NCAA West Regional. He helped Point Loma achieve a 24-6 record this past season. Frost also spent two seasons at the University of San Diego as the Video Coordinator. Before going to San Diego, Frost was an assistant coach for three seasons at Whitworth University and helped accumulate a record of 74-12 and won the Northwest Conference Championship all three years. He has coached All-Americans and many all-league players while at Whitworth. He has done a great job in recruiting, scouting reports, assisting with offensive strategy, individual workouts, and more. Frost brings a positive aspect to any program through his exceptional work ethic, which has translated to success within collegiate basketball programs.

COLEMAN FURST - TEXAS A&M

Furst was recently promoted to the associate head coach position for the Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team. He completed his third season at A&M-Commerce and has been vital to the team’s success since the 2017-18 season. A&M-Commerce has put together a 64-30 (.681) record with two NCAA Tournament appearances and a Lone Star Conference divisional championship with Furst on the sidelines. He has played a significant role both on and off the court helping make this happen. Furst played collegiately at Tarleton State.

SCOTT GAUTHIER - UMSL 

Scott Gauthier just completed his fifth season as an assistant men’s basketball coach on Bob Sundvold’s staff. Gauthier has helped lead the Tritons in back-to-back 20-win seasons, including a program-best 27-6 mark this past season. UMSL also made the program's first NCAA Tournament bid after clinching a share of the GLVC regular season title. During the 2018-19 season, the team reached a record of 20-9, which marked the program's first 20-win season since 1990-91. Gauthier’s experience at the high school level and knowledge of the region have aided in his recruitment efforts for the Triton program. He compiled a 218-41 (.930) in his time at Webster Groves High School, which included nine Suburban South Conference championships, three district championships, two state quarterfinal appearances and the 2008 Missouri Class 5 state championship.

Jaren Gembe - Shippensburg

Gembe has been an integral part of a strong rebuild at Shippensburg over the past seven seasons. He has helped the raiders turn in a 135-72 (.652) overall record with three NCAA Tournament appearances. The program has achieved its first NCAA Division II Tournament victories, its highest national ranking, set a season record for wins, and reached an Elite Eight during Gembe’s time on the sidelines. Gembe has helped bring in four 1,000-point scorers and multiple award winners at both the conference and regional level who have helped to redefine the program. In fact, Justin McCarthur’s (2018) 1,650 career points rank fourth in program history while Abe Massaley’s (2017) 1,417 rank sixth. The program won just seven games in the year prior to Gembe’s arrival. Gembe was a four-year letterwinner of the program and is a native of nearby Greencastle, PA.

Zane Gibson - UTPB

Gibson got his start at his alma mater of Middle Tennessee State as a graduate assistant under Kermit Davis who he also played for. It was one of the best times in MTSU history for their basketball program as they upsetted No. 2 seed Michigan State during Gibson’s last season as a graduate assistant and had four conference championships in his time as a player. He is a part of the winningest class in history as a player at the school. Gibson came to UTPB after two seasons as an assistant coach at Arkansas Fort Smith where the program was able to reach back-to-back NCAA Tournaments and put two more conference championships under Gibson’s belt. He has been recognized by the NABC on the Under Armour 30-under-30 list for his efforts.

CHRIS GOVE - WEST TEXAS A&M

Gove has just about done it all in the Division II basketball world. He has helped lead teams to two National Titles, one National runner-up, one Final Four appearance, and six Regional Titles. As the Associate Head Coach, Gove has completely helped turn around the program at West Texas A&M, as they have achieved the No. 1 seed for a third consecutive season in the NCAA DII South Central Region. Gove was an assistant coach at Winona State for 16 years where he helped turn their program into a DII National powerhouse. At Winona State he coached 3 National Players of the Year, 4 NCAA Regional Players of The Year, 12 NABC All-Region Players, and many more. With over 20 years of DII coaching experience and an overall record of 32-11 in NCAA Tournament games played, Gove would make for an outstanding head coach.

JON HAWKINS - NW NAZARENE

Hawkins has spent the past five seasons at Northwest Nazarene with two different head coaches (Scott Flemming from 2015-17 and Paul Rush 2017-current). Hawkins’ contribution to the program’s 48-32 mark in his first three seasons is the most in any three year stretch in program history while the program’s 20-8 season in 2018-19 is the best season ever recorded.  He is known to be a great teacher of the game and a talented recruiter. He recruited the program’s first conference POY/Newcome of the Year and has helped develop 5 all-conference players during his time in Boise, ID.  The Phoenix, AZ native starred for Northwest Nazarene as a player  before playing overseas for a number of years. He is 83-51 (.619) in his time with both coaching staffs through five seasons.

Corey Hendren - USC Aiken

Hendren has helped lift two programs in his young career. He got his start as a head coach at USC Salkehatchie where he improved win totals each year. His last season on campus marked the most wins in one season at the institution. He was able to recruit a pair of all-americans and five all-region selections that helped him do this. His time at USC Aiken has mirrored this effort in a lot of ways. Hendren improved the team’s win total from 16 in his first year to 27 in his second season while the team earned a NCAA Tournament berth and climbed to as high as No. 4 in the national rankings. The development of a pair of all-region players helped the pacers do this and ultimately helped Hendren gain more recognition as a coach. He has been recognized by the NABC on Under Armour’s 30-under-30 list among other things in his young career. He is 60-32 (.652) in 3 seasons as an assistant coach.

Chad Hettermann - Augustana

Hettermann has helped contribute to one national championship and a 158-64 (.712) record in 7 seasons for his alma mater. He has been a part of the last 8 NCAA Tournaments appearances, three as a player and five as an assistant coach. The stretch is considered one of the best in program history that is highlighted by the one national championship in 2015-16 that resulted in a program record for wins (34). In fact, from 2014-17 the Vikings appeared in three straight Sweet Sixteens, two NSIC Regular Season Championships that included the program’s first-ever in 2014-15, and one NSIC Tournament Championship, which was also the first in program history. The team possessed four players that Hettermann helped mentor to prominence. Daniel Jansen, Casey Schilling, Alex Richter, and Jordan Spencer all earned All-NSIC honors. Jansen and Schilling were named conference POYs while Jansen was later named NABC National Player of the Year.

 

Aaron Huffman - West Liberty

Huffman has been along for the runs at West Liberty. Working closely with head coaches Ben Howlett and Jim Crutchfield, Huffman has helped guide West Liberty to eight conference championships, six NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen berths, four NCAA Division II Atlantic Region titles, four conference tournament crowns and a trip to the 2014 National Championship Game. The Hilltoppers have been the highest-scoring team in the nation throughout Huffman’s time on the sidelines and have won more games than any other NCAA Division II squad, posting an eye-popping 265-34 (.886) record during that span. His experience doesn’t stop there though. Huffman has been a successful head coach in his own right having already led a Bethany (WV) program to a 112-53 (.679) from 2002-08. The Bison experienced three PAC regular-season titles and tournament crowns along with a trio of NCAA Division III tournament bids thanks to Huffman’s efforts.

TONY JONES - UNC PEMBROKE

Jones has been a significant part of the UNC Pembroke basketball program since joining the program as a student assistant coach for the 2014-2015 season. Next season will be his seventh year with the program as an associate head coach. He has done a great job in recruiting players as well as stepping in as the interim head coach this past season and leading the team to a 24-6 record. Jones also guided the team to the program’s first outright Peach Belt Conference regular season title. This huge season earned him the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year. He is 134-49 (.732) during his time in Pembroke. Jones has the aptitude to lead a collegiate level basketball program, it’s only a matter of time before he gets the opportunity.

BLAKE JUSTICE - VALDOSTA STATE

Justice has played an integral role in the success of Valdosta State’s program. After an outstanding three-year career at Valdosta State, he spent one year as a graduate assistant for the program. He then became the assistant coach and has helped lead the program to a 76-16  record since 2017. The four years Justice has been with the team has been the best stretch in VSU program history, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament each year and winning four straight conference regular season titles. For his efforts he was recently recognized by the NABC on Under Armour’s 30-under-30 list. Justice is a great young coach with a bright future.

Muhamadou Kaba - East Stroudsburg

Kaba has helped take East Stroudsburg to new heights. In four seasons with the program, the warriors are 86-34 (.717) and earned their first-ever appearance in the Elite Eight in 2018. The program has advanced to two NCAA Tournaments during those four seasons, won two PSAC East regular season championships, and one PSAC championship. Kaba also played at East Stroudsburg where he enjoyed two PSAC championships, three NCAA Tournaments, and one NCAA Sweet Sixteen. He was a co-captain as a senior and was a co-recipient of ESU’s Coaches Award. The New Jersey native is considered one of the best young coaches in the country.

Anthony Komara - Alabama Huntsville

Seven seasons and five NCAA Tournaments make up Komara’s time in Huntsville. The former video coordinator for Jeff Lebo at Auburn is 155-63 (.711) in those seven seasons. He has finished in the Elite Eight twice, won three Gulf South Conference tournament titles, and has captured a pair of GSC regular season crowns. With Komara on the staff, UAH has produced five All-South Region performers and 11 All-GSC selections, and two Chargers have been selected to play in the Division II All-Star Game during that time period.

KEITH LAI - DOMINICAN UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

Lai has done a phenomenal job at every level of coaching and helping guide exceptional players to be better through his training. Lai came to Dominican after serving as head coach of Bentley Upper School (2015-2019). He was also head coach of Valley Christian High School for three years (2012-2015) and with West Coast Elite for a year (2018-2019). Lai has worked in player development as he assisted Brandon Payne and Accelerate Basketball based in North Carolina with off-season and pre-draft workouts with NBA players and potential draft picks. He has assisted players such as Stephen Curry, Damion Lee, and Dennis Smith Jr. in off-season workouts and helped prepare players such as Trae Young, Frank Jackson, Hamidou Diallo, and Joel Berry II for the NBA Draft. Lai has also played collegiate basketball for New Hope Christian College in Oregon and is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at Cal Baptist University. Any program could benefit greatly from Lai’s experience and understanding in player development and coaching abilities.

EVAN LAVERY - EMPORIA STATE

Evan Lavery just completed his first year as an assistant coach at Emporia State, but he is no stranger to head coach Craig Doty.  The two of them previously helped build Rock Valley College into a national power in the NJCAA. The Golden Eagles had a 144-27 (.842) record since their arrival in 2013 and won two NJCAA National Championships. The program would hold a No. 1 national ranking for 729 consecutive days. Before that, Rock Valley was towards the bottom of their conference.Lavery is known for his development of players including All-Americans Jared Mayes, LT Davis, and Elijah Williams. He is also known as a talented recruiter and has immense knowledge of the NJCAA. 

Grant Leonard - Queens

Leonard has had great success in his time as a DII assistant. He is 214-97 (.682) in 9 seasons at the Division II level and is 270-156 (.634) in 15 seasons overall. He is part of a select fraternity of coaches that can say that they’ve coached at least three collegiate levels. He has helped lead Queens to one Elite Eight finish, one Final Four finish, and an impressive three 30-win seasons. In his first six years at Queens, two of Leonard’s recruits have been named All-Americans (Todd Withers & Shaun Willett) and 15 of his recruits have received all-conference honors with seven earning first-team recognition (Jarrett Stokes, Rob Lewis, Sean Morgan, Jalin Alexander, Withers, Willett, Daniel Carr). Leonard has also spent time at Paine College, Flagler, Texas Pan American (UTRGV), and Washington College.

David Lewis - Angelo State

Lewis is the only coach on this list with NBA experience. He worked with the Orlando Magic and the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League before transitioning to an assistant role under Cinco Boone at Angelo State. He is 101-47 (.682) in five seasons on the sidelines in San Angelo, TX and has contributed to 3 NCAA Tournaments. Lewis got his start at Texas as a graduate assistant under Rick Barnes. He has been around multiple high level professionals like DJ Augustin, Avery Bradley, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, and Aaron Gordon during his time with Magic and Texas. Angelo State has produced professionals of their own in Lewis’ time as well. Three Rams, Thomas Tshikaya, Gustavs Puhovs, and Quay King, made the jump to the professional ranks overseas. 

Trey Lindsey- St. Edward's

Lindsey has done a great job assisting the St. Edward’s basketball program as they have become a top DII program in the country. Lindsey returned to St. Edward’s before the 2018-2019 season after being the assistant coach at Loyola University New Orleans for one season. He was a two year starter and captain for St. Edward’s and spent one season as a graduate assistant coach upon completion of his eligibility. After Lindsey rejoined the program, they won an additional 12 games compared to the season prior. He is 73-21 (.777) in three seasons as an assistant coach and is off to a promising young career for a program that is starting to take off due in part to his efforts.

RYAN MAHONEY - SOUTHERN NAZARENE

Mahoney completed his first season as Associate Head Coach after spending four seasons as the assistant. Since Mahoney’s arrival, SNU has accumulated an overall record of 87-36. He has helped push players to be greater as the SNU program had only three selections on the All-GAC team in their team history before Mahoney arrived. Since his arrival, that number has increased to 11 All-GAC honorees, with three selected to the first team for the first time ever. Mahoney has tons of recruiting experience and can make an immediate impact for any program.

MIKE MAKUBIKA - FLORIDA SOUTHERN

Makubika is as well rounded as they come in his coaching abilities and values as a coach. He joined the Florida Southern staff in 2015 and has been a vital role to their success and recruitment as he brings in some of the most talented players in Division II. Makubika is key in player development as well and has helped coach one All-American, six All-Sunshine State Conference selections, one SSC Player of the Year, and one SSC Defensive Player of the Year. He has helped guide the team to an SSC Tournament Championship in 2019 and two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Makubika has played the lead role for the program in helping the team excel in the classroom and in the community. Guiding the team’s community service production and the team earning the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award two times, Makubika is certain to make a huge impact on any program he is a part of. 

Graham Maxwell - Emmanuel

Maxwell has had a historic stretch for Emmanuel as an assistant coach. He is 167-64 (.723) in 7 seasons under Thomas Rosene and has helped capture 2 national championships and 1 national runner-up finish. In addition, he was a part of the 2009 NCCAA National Championship team as a player. He currently serves as the recruiting coordinator for lions and was just bumped up to associate head coach during the program's transition to Division II. They have appeared in two Division II National Tournaments so far in the programs two years at the level and nearly knocked off the top overall seed last year.

RAYMOAN MCAFEE - FERRIS STATE

McAfee played two seasons at Ferris State before embarking on his coaching career. After three seasons in Big Rapids, MI as a Bulldog, he received the top assistant position at Indiana Tech but returned back to his alma mater a season later where he continues to contribute to one of the best stretches in school history. McAfee has helped Ferris State achieve a 20-plus win season for the past six years despite the one year he was at Indiana Tech. From 2014-17, McAfee helped lead Ferris State to three consecutive GLIAC Tournament Championships, three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, reach the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen, and rank in the top 25 nationally each of these years.  He is 159-65 (.710) in his time as an assistant coach and played a large factor in recruiting the team that won the national championship at Ferris State in the one season he wasn’t on staff.

Matt McConnell - Concordia

While the Concordia program has been transitioning to Division II over the last few years, it hasn’t stopped McConnell and the program from continued success. In fact, the Eagles made their first Division II NCAA Tournament in 2019 and have experienced a 129-59 (.686) record with McConnell on the sidelines. The tournament appearance was just their second year of eligibility as the team wasn’t eligible two of the previous three years. The postseason success doesn’t stop there. In McConnell’s first season after arriving from Citrus College, he was able to contribute to a Sweet Sixteen run in the NAIA National Tournament. McConnell comes from a prominent basketball family in the state of Arizona. His father and grandfather have combined to win over 1,400 high school games and his brother Mickey starred at Saint Mary’s College under Randy Bennett as a player.

Matt Micek - Azusa Pacific

Micek has been a part of some impressive stretches for a number of different programs. He is 249-132 (.653) in 12 seasons as an assistant at the four year level. He has helped Azusa Pacific rise to a national ranking in his five years on the sidelines and did the same for Biola under the legendary Dr. Dave Holmquist. He has also spent time with Oak Park High School where he won a CIF Championship and at San Jose Christian College as head coach for one season where the team saw an improvement from 3 wins to 21 wins while advancing to the NSCAA Final Four. Micek has also had stops at Cal Poly Pomona, Concordia, and Ventura College. He played collegiately at Colorado Christian University.

KYLE MILLIGAN - CHAMINADE 

Milligan has been the assistant coach for the Chaminade University men's basketball team for three seasons. He has brought team success and more opportunity with him to the program. In the 2019-2020 season, Milligan helped lead the team to an 18-11 overall record and a 15-7 record in the Pacific West Conference, advancing to the conference tournament semifinals for the second straight year. He had the program running their defense exceptionally well and has played a pivotal role in recruiting players, including Isaac Amaral-Artharee (PacWest Freshman of the Year) and Kevin Kremer (two time conference freshman of the week). Milligan assisted the Silverswords in winning 23 games in the 2018-2019 season which was the most for the program during its Division II era which began in 1986. His exquisite work in player development has helped earn many players achievements and help the program succeed.

MATT OKADA - CAL POLY POMONA

Okada just completed his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Cal Poly Pomona men's basketball team in 2019-2020. Okada plays an instrumental role in the program’s recruiting, camps, academic monitoring and on-court instruction. During his time with the team, they have captured two CCAA regular season titles, one CCAA tournament title, and qualified for the NCAA Tournament four times while compiling an overall record of 102-42. Prior to joining Cal Poly Pomona, Okada spent one season as an assistant coach at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California and played a key role in recruiting a team that eventually sent 10 players on to the four-year level. He also spent 2007-2008 working as an executive office intern for the Philadelphia 76ers. He has had lots of experience in recruitment at all different levels and plays a key role in improving the programs he is at. 

IVAN PATTERSON - CSU SAN BERNARDINO

Patterson has ignited Cal State San Bernardino back to its winning ways in his two seasons under Andy Newman. The Coyotes are 36-22 (.621) in two seasons and have improved the teams win total each year dating back to their 13 wins in 2017-18, the year prior to Patterson’s arrival. Patterson came to San Bernardino after two seasons on staff at Cal Baptist under his former head coach as player, Rick Croy.  The Lancers boasted an impressive 54-11 (.831) record and were the Division II West Regional champions (2017-2018). As a player, Patterson helped lead the Lancers to their first ever Pacific West championship and in the same year helped the Lancers make their first ever NCAA Division II playoff appearance before embarking on a brief stint playing professionally overseas.

JUSTIN PECKA - TAMPA

The Connecticut native has spent his entire eleven year career at his alma mater, working under longtime Head Coach Richard Schmidt. Prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, Pecka was promoted to Associate Head Coach. He is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of the program, including all recruiting, scouting, and scheduling. In 2010-11, the Spartans had the best start in school history, 16-0, and rose to as high as #12 in the country. Tampa advanced to the conference championship game in 2013-2014 and went on to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. During his time at Tampa, Pecka has recruited and developed eight all-conference selections including Defensive Player of the Year (twice), Freshman of the Year (twice), and Newcomer of the Year. 

Jimmy Reilly - Jefferson

Reilly has been a college assistant for the past 17 seasons with 13 of them coming under legendary head coach Herb Magee. He is 341-170 (.667) in those 17 seasons and has advanced to 10 NCAA Tournaments. The program has also won five CACC titles and claimed eight CACC South Division crowns. Before evolving under Magee’s tutelage, Reilly spent two seasons at Neumann University and two seasons at Ursinus. He was able to increase each program’s win totals from year one to year two. Reilly played at Ursinus where he was a two-year captain and was the team’s MVP as a senior. With many years under his belt learning from one of basketball’s all-time great basketball coaches, Reilly has a bright future ahead when his time comes to lead his own program.

Vincent Robinson - Miles

It’s easier to see why Miles is having the success they are having when you see Vincent Robinson as an assistant. Robinson came to Miles to coach under Fred Watson after a more than successful run as a prep school coach. He established the Robinson School in New Jersey as one of the premier programs in the country during his eight seasons with the program. The program earned a national championship in year five. Prior to the Robinson School, he coached at NIA Prep where he helped the program win a Apex School Prep Regional Tournament in his inaugural season and a No. 9 national ranking by ESPN in his last season. He accumulated a head coaching record of 287-55 winning eight Conference Championships and was selected Coach of the Year six times. Every single player that played for him earned a scholarship. Miles is 45-13 (.776) with two NCAA Tournaments in Robinson’s two seasons on the sideline. Miles was 11-41 in the two seasons prior to his arrival.

ED RYAN - PACE UNIVERSITY

Ed Ryan joined the Pace University Men’s Basketball program in 2015 following a four-year stint as an assistant for the Caldwell Cougars. In his first season, Ryan helped the program nearly double the total number of wins from their previous season. He has been instrumental in expanding recruiting for Pace University across the United States. Coach Ryan is active in the community, and has built a name for himself in his recruiting efforts across the East Coast and around the United States.

JEREMIAH SAMARRIPPAS - LINCOLN MEMORIAL

Samarrippas has pushed the program towards greatness since the day he arrived. In his time at Lincoln Memorial he has helped lead the team to record breaking seasons as well as winning several SAC regular-season titles. Samarrippas has held a key role in the coaching staff as Lincoln Memorial had a record-breaking season in 2017-2018, in which they won the SAC regular-season and tournament championships, finishing the year ranked No. 1 in the country. He is an astounding 178-24 (.881) in six seasons on the sidelines for Lincoln Memorial, which is highlighted by the program’s trip to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2015-16. Samarrrippas played at Tennessee Tech where he was a team captain for his senior campaign and named conference newcomer of the year after transferring from SMU his junior year.

 

Chris Santo - Saint Anselm

Santo is 89-32 (.736) in 4 seasons at his alma mater. The stretch includes two Northeast-10 Conference Championships in 2017 and 2020, four NCAA Tournaments, a Final Four in 2018-19, and coaching the team to its highest-ever national ranking (No. 4). For his efforts, he was recognized by the NABC on Under Armour’s 30-under-30 list. Santo also had a decorated career as a player. After transferring from Vermont and winning an America East Championship, he earned Northeast-10 Player of the Year honors his senior season. He ranks 14th all-time in scoring for the hawks and led the team to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in his last year as well. Santo was also named to the NABC All-America team and participated in the NABC Reese’s Division II College All Star Game.

Brad Schick - Colorado School of Mines

Schick has been a constant on the bench for Mines during the greatest era of success in the program's history, helping coach the Orediggers to five RMAC regular-season championships, two RMAC Tournament titles, and ten NCAA Tournament berths, including seven straight since 2014. The school has enjoyed the best single season win total and the highest ranking in program history during this time. The Orediggers are 286-108 (.726) in Schick’s 13 seasons on the sidelines. The program was 61-77 (.442) in five years prior to his arrival. Schick got his start in coaching at Fort Lewis College and also spent three seasons at Nebraska Omaha on the women’s side. During his time at Fort Lewis, he helped guide the Skyhawks to two RMAC West Division titles and one RMAC championship. FLC also advanced into a pair of NCAA Division II tournaments.

ZACH SCHNEIDER - NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE

Schneider is a young and hard working individual that has made a positive impact on the program from the start. Despite only being an assistant for two seasons, Schneider has already helped lead the team to a perfect 38-0 record and become the NCAA Division II Tournament Champions. He is an unbelievable 69-1 (.986) in two seasons as an assistant coach after spending one season as a graduate assistant coach. Schneider also played four years under Ben McCollum. During his four year career, Schneider was part of four MIAA regular season championships, two MIAA Tournament championships, four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, and the 2017 NCAA Div. II national championship team.

Mike Schott - Minnesota State

Schott is 410-190 (.683) during his long tenure of 19 seasons at Minnesota State. The veteran of the Maverick staff has helped pitch in four NSIC championships, thirteen 20-win seasons, thirteen NCAA tournaments, four Sweet Sixteens, one Elite Eight, and one Final Four during his time as an assistant. He has helped develop and recruit six All-Americans, 42 players that have earned All-NCC or All-NSIC honors, seven newcomers of the year, two freshman of the year, four defensive players of the year, three most valuable players, and 26 players that have earned Academic honors. Schott got his start in coaching under Matt Margenthaler for three seasons at his alma mater, South Dakota State. Schott was a forward on two North Central Conference championship teams, and was a member of a Jackrabbit team that captured a NCAA regional title and advanced to the Division II Elite Eight tournament in 1997.

KRANTHI SENADHI - BRIDGEPORT

Senadhi has been a great asset to the Bridgeport program the last nine seasons with the past seven coming as the associate head coach. He helped lead the team to three straight East Coast Conference championships from 2012-2015 and has played an essential role in the program’s recruitment, academics, player development, and many other aspects key to the program’s success. The team has gone to four NCAA Tournaments in nine seasons and has compiled a 205-73 (.737). Senadhi got his start as an assistant coach under Joe Lombardi at Indiana University (PA) and was instrumental in building the program to being one of the Division II powers of today. In a three year span, the program went from a record 13-15 to 33-3 winning the PSAC West regular season title, PSAC Conference Championship, Atlantic Regional Championship, and eventually losing in the Division II National Championship Game.

 

JULIUS SMITH - POINT LOMA

Smith joined head coach Matt Logie in 2019 and has many responsibilities in player development, scouting and recruiting, and essential duties for team travels. Prior to joining the Point Loma coaching staff, Smith spent four seasons as the Associate Head Coach at Riverside Poly High School. He has also coached for elite basketball programs such as the Cali Rebels and West Coast Elite UA. Smith helped lead Point Loma to a 24-6 record this past season. Smith played collegiate basketball for three seasons at William Jessup University. He is considered to have deep recruiting ties on the west coast. Many west coast basketball figures think it’s just the beginning of a promising career.

John Spruance - Southern Indiana

Spruance’s seven-year career as an assistant coach at the collegiate level has resulted in a 129-53 (.683) overall record with three NCAA Tournament berths at both Lewis and Indianapolis. In addition, he has one GLVC Regular Season title under his belt, which he earned while at Lewis University. The success has come in large part due to the talent that he has been able to attract and develop. He mentored four players to all-conference honors in his last season at Indianapolis and coached nine players to All-GLVC honors at Lewis including two GLVC Freshman of the Year in Max Strus (2015) and Delaney Blaylock (2016). Strus was an All-Region and All-American selection in 2016. Spruance got his start at the University of Hawaii as a video coordinator under Gib Arnold. The team advanced to the CIT 2nd round in his lone season with the rainbows.

SAM STAPLETON - CSU DOMINGUEZ HILLS

Stapleton recently completed his third season as assistant coach for Dominguez Hills after spending two years as a graduate assistant / video coordinator for the men's basketball program at NCAA Division I Pepperdine, where he also received his Masters in Education in 2017.He has helped guide the team to the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament for the third consecutive season and has coached four all-conference selections and one CCAA Freshman of the Year. In 2018-2019, Stapleton has coached one player that earned a spot on the first-team All-CCAA, one to an honorable mention, and one to the program's first CCAA Freshman of the Year trophy. Stapleton also served as an assistant coach for West LA Community College for two seasons after a five year stretch as a coach with LA Rockfish, an AAU high school team.

Drew Williamson - Virginia State

In 7 seasons at Virginia State, Williamson has helped lead the Trojans to 6 consecutive Northern Division titles, 2 conference tournament championships, and 4 NCAA tournament appearances with an average of 21 wins per season. It’s good for a 150-52 (.743) overall record in 7 seasons. During that time, the trojans have also set single season records for wins twice (28 and 25). Prior to his time at VSU, Williamson was a DOBO at Old Dominion, his alma mater, for two seasons under Blaine Taylor. Williamson enjoyed a stellar playing career for the Monarchs. He is among the program leaders in career steals and assists while holding the school record for most consecutive career games played (130). During the later part of his career from 2004-07 the Monarchs experienced one of their best stretches in program history making 2 NCAA Tournaments and advancing to one NIT Final Four.

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