Head Coaches are only as strong as the people they surround themselves with and it is no coincidence that the most successful programs also have some of the greatest assistant coaches in the game. To be considered for this list, the coaches must be current assistants for high major Division I programs. These coaches are considered the most impactful in the country and they are all poised to take a head coaching position in the future, whether their first or a return to a lead role. After consulting with a panel of basketball professionals, we present: The Most Impactful High Major Assistant Coaches in D1 Men's Basketball.
Adam Cohen is entering his first season with the Musketeers as he was recently hired by program’s new Head Coach Sean Miller. Before Cohen started his tenure at Xavier, Cohen served for six seasons at Stanford. Cohen has earned himself as one of the brightest coaching stars in the college game. He has been recognized as an elite recruiter and player development coach. Cohen was instrumental in strategizing Stanford’s recruiting efforts helping the Cardinal rank in the top-25 every year. The recruiting classes featured 5-star Ziaire Williams, 5-star Harrison Ingram, NBA draftee KZ Okpala, NBA draftee Tyrell Terry, and All-Pac 12 Daejon Davis. Cohen played a major role in Stanford’s recent success like he has in his previous stints at Vanderbilt and Harvard. In his two seasons on staff at Vanderbilt, Cohen helped guide the Commodores to 40 combined victories and postseason berths including a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016. At Harvard, Cohen helped guide the Crimson to its fourth consecutive Ivy League title, an NCAA Tournament appearance, and program records for overall victories (27) and conference wins (13). In 2016, the NABC named Cohen to its prestigious 30-under-30 Team.
Alan Huss is entering his sixth season on staff at his alma mater. While at Creighton, the Blue Jays have amassed a 135-65 (.675) record, including four trips to the NCAA tournament (Sweet 16 in ‘21) and a 2020 Big East regular season title. Huss has been a significant orchestrator to Creighton’s recruiting, scouting, and offensive success. In 2020-2021, Huss helped recruit the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class. Prior to his tenure in Omaha, Huss served three seasons at New Mexico and guided the Lobos to 49 victories with a 33-13 record at home. Prior to Huss’s time at The Pit, he was a Head Coach for prestigious prep program, La Lumiere where he compiled a remarkable 102-19 record.
Alvin Brooks III enters his seventh season as an assistant coach at Baylor. During Brooks tenure in Waco, the Bears have compiled a 147-50 (.746) record including a 72-32 record in Big 12 Conference play, 10-3 in NCAA Tournament games and 17-9 against top-10 ranked opponents. The Bears have been ranked No. 1 nationally in four of Brooks’ six seasons on staff, joining Duke, Gonzaga, and Kansas as the only teams ranked No. 1 three times since 2016-2017. Brooks and Baylor conquered one of the most historic two-year runs in college basketball history. Between the 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 season, the Bears won 90 percent of their games with a combined 54-6 mark, including a 17-3 record against ranked opponents, and culminating with the first National Championship and Big 12 title in program history in 2021. Throughout the 2020-2021 season, the Bears were top-5 ranked for 29-consecutive AP Top 25 polls. A large part of the success on the court for the Bears has been due to their success on the recruiting trail. The Bears 2021 recruiting class proved to be the highest-rated class in program history, signing Kendall Brown, Langston Love, and Jeremy Sochan who was ranked No. 4 in the ESPN 100. Brooks has over 17 years of experience as an assistant coach at numerous collegiate levels. Prior to Baylor, Brooks was an Assistant for four seasons at K-State. In his four seasons in Manhattan, the Wildcats achieved one of the program’s greatest stretches winning 79 games and making two NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, the Wildcats won their program’s first-ever Big 12 regular season title in 2012-2013
Andrew Francis is entering his fourth season on Mark Fox’s staff at California. Francis has a plethora of experience in Division 1 basketball. Francis has been an integral part in Cal’s improvement. Prior to his stint at Berkeley, Francis served at Iowa, Siena, and Villanova. Francis is well-respected as a tireless worker and strong player developer. Francis served the Hawkeyes for nine seasons and was a member of the longest-tenured coaching staff in Division I basketball after becoming Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery’s first hire in April 2010. During his time in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes averaged 20 wins in eight consecutive seasons and won at least 18 games per season for six straight seasons (2012-17), while attendance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena increased by more than 50 percent. The Hawkeyes were one of just three teams to finish in the upper division of the Big Ten in at least six of his last seven seasons. Francis’ final season at Iowa City, the Hawkeyes amassed 23 wins, the program’s second-highest total in more than a decade – and was nationally ranked for 16 consecutive weeks. While at Siena, Francis helped the Saints claim three NCAA Tournament berths. Prior to Siena, Francis served under Jay Wright at ‘Nova. for two seasons.
Brad Frederick is headed into his 10th season with the Tar Heels. Frederick served for Roy Williams for nine years and spent last season his first year under Hubert Davis. Frederick is responsible for the Tar Heels scouting, recruiting, coaching, and JV program. Prior to UNC, Frederick served for Kevin Stallings for 14 seasons at Vanderbilt. Since joining the Tar Heels, UNC won the 2017 NCAA title, played in the 2016 & 2022 national title game, won three regular-season ACC titles, and an ACC Tournament title. From 2016-2019, UNC’s NCAA seed was ranked No. 1 three times and No. 2 once. While at Vandy, the Commodores won an SEC Tournament and played in six NCAA Tournaments, advancing twice to the Sweet 16. At Vanderbilt, Frederick was the longest tenured SEC assistant coach in the conference (14 years).
Frederick was a three year letterwinner with the Tar Heels and played for Dean Smith in his final season as head coach. He played in 70 games and was part of two ACC Tournament titles and reached the Final Four twice.
Brandin Knight is entering his seventh season as an assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights. A New Jersey native, Knight has advanced to 11 NCAA Tournaments as either a staffer (9) or student-athlete (2), including four Sweet 16 appearances. Knight is a key piece to Rutgers phenomenal recruiting in recent years. The Scarlet Knights have made a priority in keeping New Jersey basketball stars in-state. They have signed 4-star recruits Cliff Omoruyi (2020), Paul Mulcahy (2019) and Ron Harper, Jr. (2018). Despite playing in the Big 10, Rutgers have made tremendous progress in recent years. The Scarlet Knights have reached the NCAA National Tournament in consecutive years and would have reached the dance in 2020 if not for COVID-19. The 2020-2021 tourney appearance was Rutgers first appearance since 1991. The 2019-2020 20-11 record was Rutgers first 20-win regular season in 37 years. In 2018-2019, Sports Illustrated recognized Rutgers as the nation’s Most Improved Team in the NCAA. Prior to Rutgers, Knight served on staff at Pittsburgh. With Knight on staff at Pitt, the Panthers compiled a 252-101 (714) record and reached the postseason all 10 seasons. Prior to coaching, Knight was a decorated player for the Panthers. Knight was a 2003 Wooden All-American, 2002 Associated Press All-American and two-time All-Big East honoree. He earned the Big East’s co-Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player awards in 2001-02. Knight’s No. 20 jersey was retired by the Panthers on March 4, 2009 and he was recognized as a member of the Pitt Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Brooks Savage is entering his third season with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In Savage’s first two seasons on Steve Forbes’ staff, the Deacs earned their best season in the past 20 years. The 2021-2022 season proved to be one of the largest year-to-year win improvements in NCAA history (19). This past season, the Deacs finished with 25 wins, the most in the program since 2004-2005. With a 13-7 conference record, Wake Forest tied their single-season program record for ACC wins with 13 (‘05, ‘03). The Deacs had the largest year-to-year record improvements in ACC win totals with 10. The Deacons clinched their most home wins in Wake Forest Basketball history with 18 after their two victories in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). Their NIT appearance was Wake Forest’s first postseason appearance since 2017. Savage is a large part of the development of ACC Player of the Year Alondes Williams and All-ACC Second Team selection Jake LaRavia. In Savage’s 11 seasons as an assistant coach, he has amassed a 241-128 record. Prior to Wake Forest, Savage was an assistant at ETSU where the Bucs compiled an overall record of 130-43 (.751) and a Southern Conference record of 71-19 (.789). The Bucs also earned a pair of SoCon regular season and tournament championships.
Bryan Hodgson joined the Crimson Tide in Nate Oats first season back in 2019. Hodgson has established himself as one of the best recruiters across the nation by posting back-to-back top-10 recruiting classes (2020 and 2021). Hodgson has greatly contributed to the development and rebuilding of Alabama basketball. The Crimson Tide finished ranked No. 5 in the nation in 2020-2021, matching the highest final ranking in program history (26-7 overall record and a 16-2 mark in SEC play). The Tide clinched their program’s first regular season title in 19 years. In 2016, Hodgson was selected to the 2016 Under Armour 30-under-30 Team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Before ‘Bama, Hodgson served under Nate Oats at Buffalo for four seasons, where they took the Bulls to unprecedented heights. Hodgson helped guide the Bulls to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of MAC regular season titles. The Bulls were ranked for 20 weeks in the AP Top-25 in the 2018-2019 season, marking the program’s first national ranking. Hodgson’s recruiting skills have landed much success under Oats’ leadership.
Carlin Hartman is entering his first season as Associate Head Coach for the Florida Gators. Hartman carries 22 years of experience at the collegiate level, including five seasons at Oklahoma under Lon Kruger and a season at UNLV under Kevin Kruger. Hartman additionally was on staff at Columbia with current Floria Head Coach Todd Golden for a couple seasons. Hartman has a proven track record of magnificent coaching and elite recruiting. In 2021-2022, Hartman assisted at UNLV and led the Runnin Rebels to an 18-win season, including double-digit Mountain West Conference victories. At Oklahoma, Hartman carved his way into an established recruiter leading the Sooners to their best recruiting class in the Lon Kruger Era in 2019. Hartman recruited and mentored Oklahoma legends, Trae Young, Isaiah Cousins, and Austin Reaves while in Norman. Prior to Oklahoma, Hartman served on staff at Rice, Columbia, and Richmond. Hartman played four year at Tulane and is celebrated as a part of Tulane’s 1990s All-Decade Team.
Charlton Young is headed into his first season in Columbia as he was recently hired by new Head Coach, Dennis Gates. Young comes to Columbia with nearly three decades of experience. Most recently, Young served on Leonard Hamilton’s staff at Florida State for nine seasons. Young’s devotion to FSU helped the Seminoles reach the Sweet 16 three times and the program’s first Elite Eight in 25 years. Throughout his career, Young has contributed to the development of 13 NBA Draft picks. Young was the head coach at his alma mater, Georgia Southern, from 2009-13 and made previous stops at Georgia Tech, Chattanooga, Auburn, Northeastern, and Jacksonville. Named th eNo. 1 High-Major D1 Assistant Coach by Minority Coaches Association in 2021 and was finalist for Ben Jobe Award (top D1 minority coach) in 2012. Coach Young is an incredible ally for other Division I coaches and goes out of his way to help other coaches across the country.
Chester Frazier is entering his second season on staff with the Fighting Illini. A former standout point guard at Illinois, Frazier returns with a wealth of successful experience. In his first year in Champaign, the Illini won a share of the Big 10 regular season championship and reached the second year of the NCAA National Tournament. Prior to Illinois, Frazier spent two seasons as an associate head coach for Mike Young and Virginia Tech. The Hokies had a breakout 2020-2021 season going 15-7 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament and ending the year ranked 25th in the AP Poll. Frazier previously was an assistant at Kansas State for Bruce Weber. Frazier’s impact at K-State was one of the best stretches in program history. During the stretch, the Wildcats won 150 games, two Big 12 regular-season championships (‘13,’19) and five NCAA Tournament Appearances (‘13,’14,’17,’18,’19). The 2013 Big 12 title was the first conference title by the school in more than 36 seasons. Frazier was named to NABC's 30-under-30 assistant coaches list in 2016.
Ronald “Chin” Coleman joined the Kentucky coaching staff in May of 2021. Prior to joining the Wildcats, Coleman served as an assistant coach at Illinois for four seasons. Coleman has earned the reputation as a terrific recruiter and personable coach. In his first season at Lexington, Coleman was a significant guidance to the development of guards Sahvir Wheeler (Bob Cousy finalist) and TyTy Washington Jr (set the UK single-game record with 17 assists against Georgia). While working in Champaign, Coleman was a major contributor to the development and achievement of First Team All-American, Ayo Dosunmu. Dosunmu averaged 20.1 ppg and 5.3 apg and led the Fighting Illini to a No. 1 seed in the 2020-2021 NCAA Tournament. During his stretch at Illinois, they posted back-to-back 20 win seasons for the first time since 2012-2014. Coleman’s main in-game responsibilities include orchestrating and strategizing the defense. The Illini’s defense finished seventh in the country in the KenPom adjusted defensive rankings in the 2020-2021 season. Prior to Illinois, Coleman served two years as an assistant at UIC. The Flames won 17 games in the 2016-2017 season, a 12-win increase over the previous season. The Chicago native made stops at Colorado State and Bradley prior. Coleman played seven seasons of pro ball, including a stint with the Houston Rockets.
Chris Capko is entering his ninth season on staff at USC. Capko’s relentless enthusiasm and fervor has been a strong influence for the Trojans recent success. Capko has become one of the best recruiters in all of Southern California. As an assistant coach for the Trojans, Capko has compiled a 139-64 (.684) record and four postseason berths including an Elite Eight appearance in 2021. Capko has been an integral part of the recruiting success at USC in the past five years. Future/ current NBA names: Jordan McLaughlin, De’Anthony Melton, Chimezie Metu, Evan Mobley, Onyeka Okongwu, Kevin Porter Jr, Boogie Ellis, and Isaiah Mobley have all played significant time in Los Angeles during Capko’s tenure. Before his stint with USC, Capko served as an assistant at Georgia Southern, Stetson, and FIU. Capko was additionally a graduate assistant at Marshall. Capko played college ball for the University of South Florida.
Darren Savino is entering his fourth season at UCLA where before Westwood, Savino was on the coaching staff for nine seasons under Mick Cronin at Cincinnati. Savino also worked with Cronin for a couple of seasons at Murray State. Through Savino’s last three years at Westwood, he has played a major role in helping the Bruins return to national prestige. UCLA finished in second place in the Pac-12 in 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 and fourth place in 2020-2021. The Bruins reached the Final Four in 202, UCLA’s first berth since 2008. Savino, Cronin’s right hand man, has helped his teams at Cincy and UCLA win at least 20 games in 11 of the past 12 seasons. Over Savino’s the past nine seasons of coaching, his teams have gone 126-39 in conference play (including a 40-17 record in Pac-12 action). During his time at UCLA, Savino has seen four Bruins secure first team All-Pac-12 honors - Tyger Campell (‘21, ‘22), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (‘22), Johnny Juzang (‘22), and Chris Smith (‘20). Jaquez, Jaylen Clark, and Myles Johnson were three of the Pac-12’s five players on the conference all-defensive team this past season . In Savino’s nine seasons with Cincinnati, he helped the Bearcats’ program compile a 235-79 (.748) record in which they reached the NCAA Tournament nine consecutive seasons and won two AAC Tournament and regular season titles. Before Cincy, Savino was an assistant at Rutgers, Murray State, East Carolina, St Johns, and New Mexico, and Quinnipiac.
David Ragland is entering his second as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs. Prior to Butler, Ragland was an assistant coach at Utah State under Craig Smith and helped the Aggies to a 74-24 record. Over that three year stretch, the Aggies won the Mountain West Tournament twice (‘19, ‘20) , the Mountain West regular season title (‘19), and would have reached the NCAA every year if COVID-19 did not cancel the tournament. The Aggies posted a 42-13 conference record during that stretch as well. Prior to Utah State, Ragland had stops at Valparaiso, Northern Kentucky, Bowling Green, Indiana State, and Frank Phillips College. At Valpo, Ragland helped the Crusaders clinch 24 wins, a Horizon League regular season championship and an at-large bid to the NIT. Ragland’s 18 coaching career has averaged a little north of 20 wins per season. Winning is much accustomed to Ragland and his program’s he’s been a part of.
Dean Oliver enters his sixth season with the Badgers as an assistant coach. Oliver has contributed to three NCAA Tournament appearances with Wisconsin and two Big Ten regular season championships. Prior to his juncture in Madison, Oliver served for three seasons at Illinois State (2015-2017). Oliver helped the Redbirds to a 68-34 overall record, a share of the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title and two National Invitation Tournament bids (2015, 2017). During the 2016-2017 season, the Redbirds set program records for overall victories (28) and conference wins (17). Oliver was a key mentor to 2017 MVC Player of the Year and MVC Defensive Player of the Year Paris Lee. Prior to Illinois State, Oliver worked for three seasons at the University of North Dakota. Oliver played for Iowa for four seasons and led the Hawkeyes to the 2001 Big 10 Tournament Championship. Oliver was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.
Demarlo Slocum is entering his second consecutive season with the Utes and 10th season total on The Hill. During his first stint from 2011-2019, Slocum was integral in the Runnin’ Utes making five-straight postseason appearances - including back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths, a Sweet 16 appearance and a NIT runner-up finish. In addition, he was on staff when the Utes had a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in three consecutive seasons (Delon Wright, Jake Poetl, and Kyle Kuzma). Delon Wright, who won the 2015 Bob Cousy Award, became the first player in Pac-12 history to win the honor since the award’s inception. Prior to Slocum’s first stint with the Utes, he served as an assistant at Colorado State for four seasons that included a 12 game win improvement and two postseason berths. Before CSU, Slocum was an assistant at Idaho. Between Slocum’s stints at Utah, he served for two years at UNLV under T.J. Otzelberger. The Runnin’ Rebels finished 2nd in the Mountain West in his first season, a feat that had not been reached since 2008.
Duane Broussard is entering his fourth season with the Horned Frogs. This past season, TCU reached back to ‘The Dance’ into the round of 32 ending their 2021-2022 season with a 21-13 record. In Broussard’s first season, TCU defeated No. 2 Baylor making it the Frog’s highest-ranked home win in program history. TCU ended up winning over ranked opponents three times during the 2019-2020 season, the most-ever in a single season in program history. Prior to his time in Fort Worth, Broussard spent six seasons as an assistant coach at UCLA under coach Steve Alford. In his six seasons in Westwood, the Bruins reached four NCAA Tournaments, including three Sweet 16 appearances. While at UCLA, the Bruins secured a top-5 recruiting rank nearly every season. The Bruins 2016-2017 squad proved to be one of the most accomplished UCLA teams in recent decades. They finished with a 31-5 overall record, led the nation in assists per game (21.4), field goal percentage (52.5%), and assist-turnover ratio (1.91). The team was led by a trio of first team All-Pac 12 stars, Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf, and Bryce Alford. Their high octane efficient offense was ranked No. 2 in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency per KenPom. During Broussard’s career at Westwood, he helped send 13 UCLA players to the NBA, including renowned current NBA pros like Zach Lavine, Lonzo Ball, and Kevon Looney. Before Broussard’s experience at UCLA, he served for 10 seasons at New Mexico where he helped the Lobos register an impressive .655 winning percentage and four Mountain West regular season championships.
Eric Mobley heading into his fourth season with the Trojans. Mobley brings a versatility of player development, mentoring, coaching, and mentorship. Mobley coached a variety of AAU during his previous years at USC including coaching west coast powerhouse Compton Magic for three years. Mobley also led the Triple Threat youth basketball program from 2007-2018. Mobley, the founder of the program, designed the program to educate and empower student-athletes with a positive character through the game of basketball. While on staff at USC, Mobley has been a massive impact to the Trojans two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances including an Elite Eight run in 2021. Mobley played collegiately for Portland and professional in Portugal, Mexico, and Indonesia.
George Halcovage is entering his 15th season with the Wildcats. Halcovage has worked up the ladder at ‘nova serving as Graduate Assistant, Director of Basketball Operations, Assistant Coach, and lastly, Associate Head Coach. Halcovage has compiled a decorated list of 372- 114 (.765), four Final Four appearances, two National Championships, seven Big East Regular Season titles, and five Big East Tournament appearances. Jay Wright, former legendary Villanova Head Coach, calls Halcovage, “a talented young coach who is ready to take over the leadership of our staff as Associate Head Coach.” Halcovage’s accomplishments at ‘Nova is evidence he will be in the mix for D1 head coaching positions sooner than later.
The former Syracuse legend, has been back on staff with the ‘cuse for 12 seasons. The former first-team All-Big East selection has transitioned into one of the most respected and distinguished assistants in college basketball. Syracuse has made the NCAA Tournament eight times in his 12 seasons on staff and has reached the Final Four twice (‘13, ‘16). McNamara has been recognized as a key leader to the development of players. McNamara has mentored future NBA pros like Michael Carter-Williams, Tyler Ennis, Michael Gbinije, and Dion Waiters. While a player, McNamara led the Orange to a 2006 Big East Championship and was presented the Most Outstanding Player award in the tournament. In McNamara’s four year playing career, the ‘Cuse made the NCAA Tournament every year. McNamara is the program’s record holder in 3 points made in a season (107) and career (400). McNamara had a huge impact on Syracuse's 2003 National title as he started all 35 games for the Orange as a true freshman.
Grant Billmeier is entering his first season with the Terps. Prior to Maryland, Billmeier served on Kevin Willard’s staff at Seton Hall for 10 years. The Pirates reached great heights within the Big East during Billmeir’s time on staff. In 2016, he helped the Pirates win the Big East Championship for the first time since 1993 and earn an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 2006. In 2017, Seton Hall clinched a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, a feat the program had not accomplished since four straight from 1991-94. In 2018, he helped the Pirates to the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 2004 as well as reaching as high as No. 13 in the nation in the Associated Press top 25 poll. In 2019, he helped The Hall tie a program record with its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid. In 2020, he assisted Willard in leading the Pirates to as high as No. 8 in the Associated Press top 25, a 21-win season and a share of the Big East regular season championship, the program's first since 1993. If the 2019-2020 season wasn’t cut short due to COVID-19, the Pirates would have reached ‘The Dance’ six out of seven seasons. Billmeieir has contributed to over 200 wins while at the Hall. Billmeier is well regarded for his strong player development elevating player’s to all-conference caliber. Billmeir was ranked second in a poll of top assistant coaches in the Big East by his peers in the 2020 Stadium survey. Billmeier was a four-year letterwinner and two-time captain for Seton Hall. He helped the Pirates reach the NCAA Tournament twice (‘04, ‘06).
Gus Argenal enters his second season on staff in Fayetteville. In Argenal’s one year at Arkansas, he helped the Razorbacks to an NCAA Elite Eight appearance while posting a 28-9 overall mark and 13-5 SEC record. The 28 wins were the highest in the program since Arkansas’ national runner-up season in ‘95. Argenal has been an emphatic force on the recruiting trail positioning the Razorbacks’ 2022 class to No. 2 in the nation. Prior to Fayetteville, Argenal served for two seasons as an associate head coach at CSU Fullerton. While with the Titans, Fullerton ranked top in the NCAA in 3pt percentage. Before joining the Titans, Argenal served under Eric Musselman at Nevada for two seasons. The Wolf Pack went to the NCAA Tournament both years, including the Sweet 16 in his first season, and won the Mountain West Championship in consecutive years. Argenal has helped the individual development of all-conference players: the Martin Twins, JD Notae, Jaylin Williams, Tray Maddox Jr., Jackson Rowe, Kendall Stephens, and Lindsey Drew. Argenal spent four seasons as the head coach at CSU East Bay, a Division 2 school.
Jack Murphy is entering his fourth consecutive season with the Wildcats and 12th total season at U of A. Prior to his most recent stint at Arizona, Murphy served as head coach at NAU for seven seasons. Murphy is an electrifying recruiter and has a knack for finding talent. The Wildcats brought in a top-five recruiting class in 2020. This past season for the Wildcats, proved to be memorable in Arizona program history. The Wildcats finished 33-4 (18-2 in Pac 12 play) with a Pac-12 regular season & tournament championship. The Wildcats finished ranked in the Top-5 of the AP Poll. In between his time in Tucson, Murphy spent three years with the Denver Nuggets, working for Hall of Famer, George Karl. Murphy was in charge of scouting. Murphy was a strong influence on the Nuggets success. Denver averaged nearly 50 wins a season during Murphy’s time with the organization and made the postseason in each of his three seasons. Before his pit stop in the NBA, Murphy served at Memphis under Josh Pastner. The Tigers secured top recruiting classes including four McDonald’s All-Americans in three seasons. The Tigers went 75-29 in Murphy's three seasons in Memphis. Murphy began his coaching career under hall-of-famer Lute Olson as a student manager, recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant, video coordinator, and director of operations.
Entering his first season with the Blue Devils, Jai Lucas has spent the past five seasons as an accomplished assistant at powerhouse programs, Kentucky and Texas. Lucas is already well-regarded as a high-level player developer and a strong recruiter. During his two seasons at Kentucky, Lucas both managed the traditional on-court assistant roles and additionally, managed Kentucky’s recruitment strategy. At Kentucky, Lucas has helped the Wildcats haul five McDonald’s All-Americans or Jordan Brand Classic participants including 2022 No. 1 prospect, Shadeon Sharpe. Prior to Kentucky, Lucas served for seven seasons at his alma mater, the University of Texas-Austin. A homegrown Texan, Lucas started his coaching career as a special assistant for Rick Barnes and eventually was elevated to assistant coach under Shaka Smart for the 2016-2017 season. During his career coaching at Texas, Lucas assisted the development of future NBA players, Jarrett Allen, Mo Bamba, and Jaxon Hayes. During his tenures at Kentucky and Texas, he has contributed to 5 top-20 recruiting classes. Prior to his coaching career, Lucas played three seasons of professional ball. Jai Lucas was a McDonald’s All-American and played collegiate basketball for the Florida Gators and Texas Longhorns.
Entering his 14th season with the Cavaliers, Jason Williford has largely contributed to the consistent successful culture of Virginia Basketball. Virginia has won five ACC regular season titles in the past nine seasons and two ACC Tournament championships as well (‘14, ‘18). During Williford’s time at the helm, the Cavaliers have made the NCAA National Tournament eight times in the 11 seasons as an assistant coach. In the last 10 seasons (excluding the 2020-2021 covid season), Virginia has won at least 20 games. In the 2018-2019 season, the Cavaliers went 35-3 and ultimately won the 2019 NCAA National Championship, a redemption story from the prior year's loss to UMBC. Williford's successful track record goes before Virginia. Prior to UVA, Williford served for four years at American University and Boston University for five years. In his last two seasons with American, they won the Patriot League Championship and participated in the NCAA Tournament. During Williford's final four years at Boston University, the Terriers earned an NCAA Tournament berth in 2002 and then participated in the NIT for three consecutive seasons. Jason Williford is regarded as one of the best assistants in the ACC.
Jeff Battle enters his eighth season at Providence College. Battle has amassed a 142-85 (.625) record while serving under Ed Cooley’s staff. In those seven seasons, the Friars have reached the NCAA Tournament four times and won the 2022 Big East Regular Season title. The past 2021-2022 season was one to remember in Friar history. Providence won their first Big East regular season championship in program history and made it all the way to the Sweet 16. The Friars finished ranked 13th in the top-25 AP poll. Prior to Providence, Battle spent 13 seasons on the Wake Forest basketball staff. During those 13 seasons, the Deacons reached a No. 1 national ranking in 2005 and again in 2009, won a school-record 27 games in 2005, advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2004 and won the 2003 ACC regular season title. Battle was a key guidance in developing future NBA stars Chris Paul, Ish Smith, and Jeff Teague. Battle also was a major force in Wake Forest’s consistent top recruiting classes. The Demon Deacons ascended to the top-25 in recruiting rankings six times. Prior to Wake Forest, Battle was an assistant at Xavier.
Jesse Pruitt is entering his seventh season as an assistant at Stanford. During his tenure on The Farm, the Cardinal have produced 98 victories overall, recorded its best conference record and most league wins in a decade and earned a postseason berth for the first time in three years. Stanford signed its third top-20 recruiting class in four years for the 2021 season, including a McDonald’s All-American for the second year in a row (Harrison Ingram and Ziaire Williams). Stanford finished 20-12 overall in 2019-2020, and were in definite contention for an NCAA Tournament bid but COVID-19 shortened the season early and canceled the Big Dance. Pruitt has played an important role in the development of the Cardinal’s standout players. Prior to his time at Stanford, Pruitt served for eight seasons on staff at Santa Clara under Kerry Keating, including four seasons as an assistant coach. Pruitt was a member of the Aggies’ men’s basketball team for two seasons.
Joel Justus is entering his second season with the Sun Devils after working the previous seven seasons at Kentucky. While serving under Head Coach John Calipari at Kentucky, Justus helped the Wildcats to elite levels. In his first season with the Wildcats, Justus served as director of analytics. That season the Wildcats were the first team ever in college basketball to start a season 38-0. A couple years later, Justus was promoted to assistant. In his seven seasons with the Wildcats, they reached five NCAA Tournaments (1 Final Four, 2 Elite Eights, 1 Sweet 16), four SEC Tournament Championships, four SEC regular season titles, and 213-64 (.769) record. Justus played a key part in the development of SEC stars, Ashton Hagans, Tyler Herro, Keldon Johnson, Immanuel Quickly, Tyrese Maxey, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to name a few. Prior to UK, Justus spent time as an assistant at Elon and a head boys’ basketball coach at Woodberry Forest School.
Justin Gainey is entering his 2nd season on Rick Barnes’ staff at Tennessee. Gainey has extensive experience in the ACC, Pac-12, Big East, WCC, and beyond. Gainey is regarded as a tenacious recruiter and relentless competitor. The former NC State Wolfpack point guard, effectively assisted the development of All-SEC point guard and SEC Tournament MVP Kennedy Chandler. The Vols remained the entire 2021-2022 campaign ranked in the AP Top 25, reaching all the way to a season-high of Number 5 in the postseason poll. The Vols completed four wins over top-10 teams including No. 6 ranked Arizona and No. 14 ranked Arkansas. Prior to Knoxville, Gainey spent the 2020-2021 season as the associate head coach at Marquette. Gainey also served stints at Santa Clara (2017-2018) and Arizona (2018-2020). In 2019-2020, the Wildcats led the Pac-12 Conference in scoring and owned the league's third best scoring defense. Gainey began his coaching career at his alma mater, NC State. He spent two years in administrative roles with the Wolfpack. Gainey played four seasons at NC State from ‘96-’00 leading the Wolfpack to four straight postseason berths.
Kellen Sampson is entering his ninth season as an Assistant Coach for the Houston Cougars. During his time at Houston, the Cougars have achieved immense success making four NCAA National Tournament appearances including a Final Four appearance in 2021 and an Elite Eight appearance this past 2021-2022 season. The Cougars have accomplished two American Athletic Conference (AAC) Tournament Championships and three AAC regular season titles. The Cougars have won a program record, seven straight 20+ win seasons. The Cougars also currently have finished in the top 25 for the past five seasons. Sampson was an integral part in the development of future NBA players like Armoni Brooks (Raptors), Quentin Grimes (Knicks), Nate Hinton (Pacers), Danuel House (Jazz). Prior to joining the Cougars, Sampson served for three seasons at Appalachian State and one season at Stephen F. Austin where the program finished with 18 wins and the best scoring defense in the country.
Kenya Hunter is entering his third season with the Hooisers. The 20-year illustrious coaching vet was an integral contributor to Indiana’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in six years. In addition to the Hooiser’s NCAA appearance, they also reached the Big 10 Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2013 and finished 22nd in top-rated defense in the Big Ten according to KenPom. In addition to the on-court success, IU also landed the fifth-best recruiting class in the country according to 247Sports. Hunter has ignited a culture of effective player development in Bloomington. While on staff at IU, Trayce Jackson-Davis received All-American honors while Armaan Franklin, Xavier Johnson, and Jackson-Davis ranked among the most improved scorers in the Big 10. Prior to Bloomington, Hunter spent two seasons as an assistant at UConn. He primarily worked with the big men and helped center Josh Carlton earn the AAC Most Improved Player Award for 2018-2019. He also helped UConn land two consecutive Top 20 recruiting classes. Before Hunter’s work with the Huskies, Hunter spent five years on staff with Nebraska. During his tenure with the Cornhuskers, Hunter helped them reach the NCAA Tournament and develop All-Big 10 selections, Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields. Before Nebraska, Hunter was on the Georgetown staff for six years, where he helped the Hoyas earn two Big East Conference titles, five 20-win seasons, and five NCAA Tournament Berths. Hunter also had a significant role in the development of future NBA players: Roy Hibbert, Greg Monroe, and Otto Porter. Hunter also coached at Duquesne and Xavier.
Kimani Young is entering his fifth season on Dan Hurley’s staff at UConn. Young is well-regarded as a prestigious strategist, recruiter, planner, and leader in the college basketball world. Young has helped the Huskies land top-20 recruiting classes in the past several years. Young was a major contributor to the development and success of all-conference players including First Team selections of: Christian Vital (‘19-’20), James Bouknight (‘20-’21). Young was featured in The Athletic as one of 25 up-and-coming assistant coaches in the country. Prior to UConn, Young was an assistant at Minnesota under Richard Pitino. Young helped the Golden Gophers reach The Tournament in 2016-2017 and capture an NIT Championship in 2014. Prior to Minnesota, Young served at FIU for a season, where the Panthers achieved the program’s first winning record in 13 years. Young played ball at UTEP for legendary Hall of Fame Head Coach, Don Haskins.
Korey McCray joins the Florida Gators after spending time on staff at Mississippi State and LSU, totaling to 12 years at power-5 conference programs. McCray’s most recent stop was at the Hail State from 2015-2022. McCray’s main responsibilities at MSU were scouting, recruiting, and player development. McCray has been ranked as one of the top recruiters in the nation by 247Sports. McCray contributed to the Bulldogs 86 victories in between 2017-2021, which was tied for fourth among SEC schools during that span. MSU accomplished 10+ SEC victories in 2019 and 2020, reaching double-digit conference wins in consecutive years for the fifth time in program history. Prior to MSU, McCray teamed up with Ben Howland at UCLA, which generated the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in 2012 according to ESPN.com. The class was headlined by three future first round NBA draft picks, Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammed, and Jordan Adams. Prior to Westwood, McCray spent the 2013-2014 campaign at LSU with a 20 win season. McCray started his coaching career under Leonard Hamilton as a Graduate Assistant.
KT Turner is heading into his second season with the Sooners. Before his stop at Norman, Turner was formerly the associate head coach at Texas and SMU. In his lone season with the Texas Longhorns (2020-2021), the Longhorns went 19-8 and won the Big 12 Championship. With the help of Turner’s dedication, UT led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (.408), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.317), rebounding (38.4 per game) and defensive rebounding (27.6 per game). Before his stop at Austin, Turner spent seven seasons with SMU. Turner compiled a 169-71 (.693), and won a pair of American Athletic Conference regular season titles and two AAC Tournament championships. In 2015-2016, the Mustangs were ranked as high as No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll. Turner is also well respected as an effective player developer. At SMU, he helped the development of three NBA draft picks (Semi Ojeleye, Sterling Brown, Shake Milton) and three conference players of the year (Nic Moore 2x, Semi Ojeleye). Before his success at SMU, Turner was an assistant at Wichita State during their 2012-2013 Final Four run
Kurtis Townsend is entering his 19th season with Kansas and has achieved plenty of decorated success while at Lawrence. Townsend has been apart of two National Championships (‘08, ‘22), four NCAA Regional - Final Fours, nine Big 12 Tournament championships, and 16 Big 12 regular season championships. In addition to his on-court success at Kansas, Townsend has coached 10 NBA Lottery selections, 22 overall NBA draftees, and 51 All-Big 12 Conference players. Known as one of the most relentless recruiters in America, Townsend has the track record to prove his success in Lawrence. Townsend played integral roles in recruiting top prospects like Josh Jackson, Andrew Wiggins, Ben McLemore, Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, Frank Mason III, Devonte Graham, Sherron Collins, and Darrell Arthur. Prior to his time at Kansas, Townsend served as an assistant at Miami, USC, Michigan, Cal Berkeley, and Eastern Kentucky.
Luke Murray is entering his second season on Dan Hurley’s staff at UConn. Most recently, Murray was an assistant coach at Louisville for three years. Murray has established himself as an outstanding recruiter and evaluator of talent in college basketball. He has been awarded by ESPN as a top 10 coach under 40 in college basketball. The Atlantic and 247Sports have recognized him as one of the most influential up and coming coaches. At Louisville, Murray was instrumental in their success. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, they posted a 57-28 (.671) record and a national ranking among the top 15 during the 2019-2020 season. Before Louisville, Murray was an assistant at Xavier under Chris Mack achieving a combined 81-26 record in three seasons (‘15-’18). The Musketeers reached the NCAA Tournament in each of those years and a Big East regular season championship. The Musketeers also brought in three consecutive top-ranked recruiting classes. Prior to Xavier, Murray served under Dan Hurley at Rhode Island for two years where they went 23-10 and earned an NIT bid in 2014-2015. Murray also has pit stops in Quinnipiac, Arizona, Wagner, and Towson.
Marty Wilson is heading into his fifth season with the Golden Bears. Wilson has played a significant role in Berkeley’s recent turnaround. Prior to joining the Cal Bears, Wilson served as head coach at him alma mater, Pepperdine. Wilson transformed the Waves from a 10-win team in his first season to back-to-back 18-win seasons in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, marking their first consecutive winning season since 2001-2003. Pepperdine finished fourth in the West Coast Conference in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Prior to taking the head coaching position at Pepperdine, Wilson served as the associate head coach for the Waves under Tom Asbury from 2008. WIlson had stints at San Diego, UCSB, and Utah.
Mike Mennenga is heading into his ninth season with the Oregon Ducks. During his eight years in Eugene, the Ducks have won 203 games, four regular season Pac-12 championships and two Pac-12 Tournament championships. The Ducks have made the NCAA Tournament all but two eligible seasons in Minnega’s eight year span on staff. Highlights include making the Elite Eight in 2016, the Final Four in 2017, and the Sweet 16 in 2019 and 2021. Mennenga is primarily in charge of the Duck’s player development and player recruitment. Mennenga began his Division 1 coaching career at the University of Maine in 1996. He spent the next five seasons on staff at the University of Buffalo, and was a huge influence in the Buffaloes 20-game win improvement. Mennenga also spent time on staff at Iowa State, Providence, and Canisius.
Mike Nardi is heading into his eighth season on staff at ‘Nova. The former four-year Wildcat guard was elevated to assistant coach following the spring of 2018. Jay Wright, former Villanova Head Coach and Hall-of-Famer praised Nardi as “a high caliber hard worker” and is “a talented coach with a bright future in the business. While on staff with the Wildcats, Nardi has been a significant contributor to 2 NCAA National titles, four Final Fours, four Big East Tournament championships, and five Big East Regular season titles. Prior to his promotion to assistant coach, Nardi served as Director of Student-Athlete Development, Video Coordinator, and Director of Basketball Operations. As a player, Nardi was named to the 2004 Big East All-Rookie team after starting 35 games as a freshman. The point guard was a catalyst to Nova's 2005 Sweet 16 run and their 2006 Elite Eight berth.
Mike Schrage returns back to the Brotherhood after serving as Head Coach at Elon University for three seasons. Schrage started his career as a student assistant for Bobby Knight at Indiana. Upon graduation, Schrage spent the 1998-1999 season as director of basketball operations at Ole Miss. In 1999, Coach Krzyzewski hired Schrage into the Blue Devils’ staff. Schrage went on to become a swiss army knife for Duke in between ‘99-’08 contributing to recruiting, operations, scouting, scheduling, and player development. Schrage was a part of the 2001 NCAA Tournament Title, two Final Four appearances (‘01, ‘04), six ACC Tournament titles, and four ACC regular season titles. After his first stint in Durham, Schrage served for eight seasons as an assistant for Johnny Dawkins at Stanford in California. Proceeding his tenure in Palo Alto, Schrage served as an assistant for Chris Holtman at Butler and Ohio State. Schrage served for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team as a video coordinator at the 2006 World Championships Games in Japan and the 2007 Tournament of America in Las Vegas.
Mike Rohn is entering his 13th season with the Buffaloes. Rohn is an integral piece to CU’s reinvention and rejuvenation to national prominence. During Rohn’s tutelage at Boulder, the Buffaloes have accumulated 244 wins, the most wins in any 12-year span in Program history. In addition, he has helped guid Colorado to postseason appearances in 10 of 11 seasons. Rohn has helped Colorado to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a program-best three consecutive trips from 2012-14. As additionally the recruiting coordinator, Rohn helped deliver the 13th ranked recruiting class in the nation, the best in the Pac-12, in 2021 according to 247Sports.com. During his 12 years in Boulder, 10 CU student-athlete standouts who have or will be making the next step professionally in their respective careers. NBA standouts: Spencer Dinwiddie, Alec Burks, Andre Roberson, Corey Higgins, Derrick White, Tyler Bey, and George King are all former Buffalo standouts under Rohn’s tenure. Prior to his arrival at Boulder, Rohn spent three years as Dir of Operations at Texas A&M, where he was part of the coaching staff that helped the Aggies to a trio of NCAA Tournament Round of 32 appearances. Rohn was a large contributor to the development of Khris Middleton, Deandre Jordan, and Donald Sloan while at College Station. Before his stint at A&M, Rohn spent seven years as an assistant at Wichita State under Mark Turgeon.
Rob Ehsan is entering his second season on The Farm. Ehsan’s first season with Cardinal included the program’s first win over an AP top-25 opponent since 2007. Ehsan comes to Palo Alto following a four year stint as the head coach at UAB. The Blazers averaged 19 wins a season at a 76-57 overall record, posting a winning record in each year. Ehsan won 62.5% of his games as the head man at UAB. Prior to becoming the UAB head coach, Ehsan spent four years as an assistant coach for Jerod Haase at UAB. Hause’s Blazers reached the postseason a total of four times in eight seasons, including a second round run to the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Prior to UAB, Ehsan spent time as an assistant at Virginia Tech (2011-12) and at Maryland (2007-2011). While at Maryland, Ehsan was the youngest assistant coach in the ACC (26).
Rod Palmer is entering his fourth season as an assistant at UCLA. He joined the Bruin’s program for the 2019-2020 season after spending 12 seasons coaching at Long Beach State and San Diego State. Palmer, an LA native, understands Southern California basketball as well as anyone else in college basketball. Palmer has coached in Southern California for nearly 30 years. Through Palmer’s three seasons with the Bruins, the program has reascended to national dominance. The Bruins have compiled a 68-30 overall record, including trips to the FInal Four (2021) and Sweet 16 (2022). Over the past three seasons, the Bruins have gone 23-11 in games decided by five points or fewer. During Palmer’s time with UCLA’s program, the Bruins have seen four players earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors – Tyger Campbell in 2021 and 2022, Jaime Jaquez Jr. in 2022, Johnny Juzang in 2022 and Chris Smith in 2020. Prior to Westwood, Palmer was an assistant for Coach Dutcher and San Diego State for the 2018-2019 season. During his 11-year career on staff at Long Beach State, Palmer guided the 49ers to a NCAA Tournament berth and three NIT berths. LBSU claimed three Big West Regular Season Titles during his tenure. Prior to Long Beach, Palmer spent seven seasons as head coach at Centennial High School in Compton. While at Centennial, Palmer led the Apaches to the 2004 CIF D3 championship. Palmer coached Arron Affalo, future NBA player and UCLA standout at Centennial.
Ryan Miller enters his second season with the Blue Jays after serving the previous five seasons at TCU. In his first season in Omaha, Miller was a large influence to Creighton’s 2021-2022 23-12 record and Tournament berth. Additionally, Miller significantly has contributed to McDermott’s staff with recruiting helping secure the nation’s No. 7 recruiting class shortly after arriving in 2021. While at TCU, the Horned Frogs reached the postseason three times, including a 2018 NCAA Tournament trip, the program’s first bid in 20 seasons. Under Head Coach Jaime Dixon, Miller was a catalyst to the Frogs’ overall program improvement. In Miller’s first year in Fort Worth, the program routed a 12 game victory improvement. Miller established himself as a savvy recruiter luring future NBA First Rounder Desmond Bane in his first season. Before TCU, Miller was an assistant coach at UNLV and helped land the nation’s No. 11 and No. 5 ranked recruiting classes (2014, 2015). Despite only coaching the rebels for two seasons, Miller was an instrumental contributor to the recruitment and development of future All-Conference and future NBA players, Rashad Vaughn (2015 NBA draft taken No. 17; Mountain West Freshman of the Year), Derrick Jones (Top-50 national rank; current NBA players), Christian Wood (Houston Rockets), and Stephen Zimmerman (5-star in class of 2015). In 2015, Miller was named the fourth-best recruiter outside of the Power 5 by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and Adam Finklestein. Miller was an assistant at Auburn, New Mexico, Pepperdine, and Memphis prior to UNLV.
The former Badger standout returned to the program as an assistant coach under Head Coach Greg Gard in May of 2021. Chambliss is entering his 13th season as an assistant coach and 2nd on the Badger’s bench. Prior to Wisconsin, Chambliss spent nine seasons in the Horizon League as an assistant coach for Milwaukee and Wright State. In Chambliss’ four seasons as an assistant coach at Milwaukee, he was an instrumental force with the Panthers' ascension. The Panthers made a huge turnaround in 2013-2014, improving 13 games in the win column, posting 21 wins overall and reaching the NCAA tournament for the second time under HC Rob Jeter. At Wright State, he assisted the Raiders 109-49 (.690) record, winning each of the last three Horizon League championships. His tenure included a 2018 NCAA Tournament and 2019 NIT appearance. Chambliss was a 1,000 point scorer in his collegiate career playing at both Wisconsin and Penn State. Chambliss finished his playing career ranked eighth-all time in made 3-point field goals in the Big Ten, leading the league in 3-point field goal shooting percentage (42%) during the 2001-02 season.
Sherman Dillard is entering his 14th season serving in Iowa City for the Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes have rallied 20 or more wins in eight of the last 10 years. In 2022, Dillard and the Hawkeyes won four games in four day and captured the Big Ten Tournament title. Over the last several seasons, Iowa has compiled 68 victories – the most in a three-year span in program history since 1987-1989. In 2021, the Hawkeyes won 14 Big 10 regular season games, its highest since 1987. Not only have the Hawkeyes been hanging banners, but Dillard and the Iowa staff have successfully established future pros. Since Dillard’s tenure in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes have produced over 20 professional contracts. This includes recent names like Luke Garza, Joe Wieskamp, and future NBA lottery pick, Keegan Murray. The Hawkeyes have produced 10 All-Big 10 selections in the past 13 years including six first team selections. Dillard has over 40 years of experience and a resume decorated with league titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. Dillard’s coaching career began in College Park at Maryland University. In his six seasons there, the Terrapins clinched six postseason berths, including five NCAA Tournament appearances (3x Sweet 16). Dillard also spent time on Lou Campanelli’s staff at California and Bobby Cremins' staff at Georgia Tech. While at Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets played in five NCAA Tournaments including the Final Four in 1990 and the Sweet 16 in 1992. Dillard was a head coach for the Indiana State Sycamores from 1994-1997.
The longest tenured assistant coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Stan Jones enters his 21st season at Florida State. Jones 20+ years in the ACC has earned him the reputation as one an elite strategies, developer, and recruiter. His veteran leadership has carried the Seminoles to a laundry list of consistent national success. During his time in Tallahassee, the Seminoles have accomplished an ACC Tournament Championship, ACC regular season championship, eight NCAA National Tournament appearances, including four sweet 16s. In 2019, CoachStat.net named Jones as the top assistant coach in college basketball. Jones has helped over 50 Seminoles become professional players. Jones' career record as assistant coach at FSU is 417-242 (.633). Stan Jones was inducted into the College Basketball Assistant Coach Hall of Fame in 2019.
Steven Pearl is entering his ninth overall season with the Tigers. Pearl has been a massive influence to the Tigers monumental rebuild. On the bench, Pearl is responsible for scouting, defensive strategies, and in-game adjustments. Off the court, Pearl is a huge influence in player development and recruiting. In recent years, the Auburn Tigers’ basketball program has established themselves as an NBA prospect producer and banner hanger. Auburn became one of four major programs to record three consecutive 25-win seasons, joining Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky. Pearl has been a massive contributor to the development of NBA prospects Jabari Smith, Walker Kessler, Sharife Cooper, Isaac Okoro, JT Thor, and Chuma Okeke. The Tigers have reached the Big Dance three times in the last four seasons including a 2019 Final Four berth. Auburn also won the SEC Tournament in 2019, and the SEC regular season title in ‘18 and ‘22. Pearl was a four-year letter winner under his father at Tennessee. He helped the Vols to back-to-back SEC East Championships in 2008 and 2009.
Terry Johnson is entering his second season as an assistant coach at Purdue. Johnson comes to Purdue with decorated success. Before his time with the Boilermakers, Johnson served for four seasons at Ohio State. During his span with the Buckeyes, they were 87-44 and reached the NCAA Tournament three times. The Buckeyes finished the 2020-2021 season ranked No. 7 in the final AP Top 25 poll with a 21-10 record that included nine Quad-1 wins. The Buckeyes additionally finished fourth in most efficient offense in the country that season. Before Johnson’s stint in Columbus, he assisted for 10 years at Butler where he helped the Bulldogs to eight NCAA Tournaments, including consecutive Final Fours in 2010 and 2011, four regular-season conference championships and three conference tournament titles. The Bulldogs accumulated a Top 25 national ranking eight times in those 10 seasons. Prior to his stop in Indianapolis, Johnson served at Auburn and Purdue Fort Wayne.
Tim Morris is heading into his second season with the Runnin’ Utes. Prior to joining Craig Smith’s staff, Morris spent two seasons at Cincinnati under John Brannen. In his first year in Cincy, the Bearcats went 20-10 with a 13-5 conference record and earned the top-seed in the American Athletic Conference before COVD-19 shut down the entirety of the season. In the 2020-2021 eason, UC made the AAC championship game but eventually lost to eventual FInal Four participant, Houston. Prior to his tenure at UC, Morris was at Northern Kentucky for three seasons alongside John Brannen. He helped the Norses to three-consecutive postseason appearances (two NCAA Tournament appearances; NIT). In the three-year span, N. Kentucky went 72-30 and won a pair of Horizon League regular season and tournament titles. Prior to Northern Kentucky, Morris served as director of player development at Nevada under Eric Musselman. Morris played college ball for Mike Montgomery at Stanford.
Ulric Maligi is entering his first season with the Wildcats as he was recently hired as associate head coach under Jerome Tang. Prior to K-State, Maligi served under Chris Beard for three seasons at both Texas Texas and Texas. In his two seasons at T-Tech, the Red Raiders posted a 36-24 record and consistent Top 25 AP poll ranking. In the 2020-2021 season, the Red Raiders led the Big 12 in scoring defense (63.2 points per game) and held 13 of its 29 opponents below 60 points. Maligi was a massive contributor to T-Tech’s top-10 2020 recruiting class. The class included Micah Peavy, Mac McClung (transfer), and Marcus Santos-Silva (transfer). In Maligi’s lone season at UT (2021-2022), the Longhorns registered a 22-12 overall record and 16-3 home record. Prior to his time at Texas Tech and Texas, Maligi spent three seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M. The Aggies registered an overall 22-13 record and reached the Sweet 16 in the 2017-2018 season. Maligi also served under Larry Brown at SMU for several seasons. During the 2014-2015 season, the Mustangs achieved a 27-7 record, won the AAC regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1992-1993. Maligi was hired by UT Arlington in 2006 making him the youngest D1 assistant coach in the country at the time (21).