30 Assistants Ready to Run their own Programs
Lincoln Memorial coach Josh Schertz is a three-time Division II Coach of the Year.
The legends of coaching in college basketball receive most of the attention. You know the names: Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Bill Self, John Calipari -- each of those current or soon-to-be Hall of Famers got his start as an assistant.
While it’s not likely any of those coaches will be on the way out this season, there will be a number of coaching changes in the world of college basketball in the coming weeks and everybody is looking for the next future Hall of Famer.
So is the next unknown coach waiting for his chance to be a division I head coach?
Consider the Lincoln Memorial coach Josh Schertz, who has built the Division II program in Tennessee into a powerhouse over the past six seasons, winning 87 percent of his games. The Railsplitters rode a dynamic three-man backcourt fueling the nation’s second most potent offense to a No. 1 seed in this year’s national tournament and were ranked No. 2 in the nation in the final NABC Division II coaches poll, released March 1st.
A three-time finalist for D2 National Coach of the Year, Schertz is the South Atlantic Conference’s all-time leader in overall winning percentage (79.4) and conference winning percentage (79.2). He has won 161 games over the last six seasons.
Schertz is deserving of a chance to be a DI head coach, as are many current division I assistants.
Here are 30 who are ready to run their own program:
Adrian Autry, Syracuse - A former four-year starter and All-Big East performer for the Orange in the early 1990s, Autry joined coach Jim Boeheim’s staff in 2011-12 after a stint working for Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech. Prior to that, Autry enjoyed a 10-year professional basketball career in various countries throughout Europe. He’s credited with helping the development of former Syracuse star Chris McCullough and focuses on recruiting and working with the team’s forwards.
Brian Ayers, Belmont - He’s the man responsible for the consistent success of the Bruins’ post players. In his fifth season as coach Rick Byrd’s associate head coach and 18th as a Belmont assistant, Ayers has helped Belmont to regular appearances among the national leaders in field goal percentage. Evan Bradds, a current Belmont forward, has led the nation in that category the last two seasons, shooting better than 68 percent.
Alvin Brooks III, Kansas State - Brooks III, 36, joined coach Bruce Weber and the Wildcats in Manhattan, Kan. in April 2012. He has helped nine players earn Big 12 All-Conference honors and played an instrumental role in the program’s first Big 12 regular season championship in 2012-13. At the junior college level, he was a member of two staffs that won a national championship.
Brian Burg, Little Rock - Following two highly successful seasons at North Carolina Central (53-14 and NCAA and NIT appearances), where he coached or recruited seven all-conference players, Burg joined first-year coach Chris Burke at Little Rock last spring. He’s helped the Trojans to a 27-4 record entering this week’s Sun Belt Tournament. While at Campbell, he recruited stars Eric Griffin and Darren White.
Chris Caputo, Miami - Named associate head coach at Miami after last season, Caputo has spent the last 14 years working for coach Jim Larranaga in one role or another, first at George Mason and since 2011 in Coral Gables. Caputo is the team’s defensive coordinator and also heavily involved in the daily responsibilities of managing a team, as well as recruiting.
David Cason, Texas - Cason, 43, followed Shaka Smart from VCU to Texas last spring. In his one season with the Rams, they won the Atlantic 10 tournament championship for the first time in school history and finished the season ranked No. 25 in the AP poll. Cason has also worked at Vanderbilt, where he helped develop All-SEC players Jeffery Taylor and John Jenkins, and spent six seasons under Doug Wojcik at Tulsa.
Raphael Chillious, Washington - Other than one season working for Jay Wright (2013-14), Chillious has been on the bench for Lorenzo Romar at Washington since 2010. A Lafayette graduate, Chillious is responsible for coaching the Huskies’ guards, working with former standout Isaiah Thomas, among others. He worked for Romar when the program won consecutive Pac-10 tournament championships in 2010 and 2011.
Chris Crutchfield, Oklahoma - In his fifth season on Lon Kruger’s staff, Crutchfield, 46, is a former college football player at Nebraska-Omaha. With the Sooners, he recruits and works with the team’s guards as Kruger splits all responsibility equally among his three assistants. Prior to arriving in Norman, he spent four seasons at Oral Roberts, helping the program to the postseason. He also has two years experience as a head coach at Tyler (Tex.) Junior College.
Eric Eaton, Quinnipiac - A terrific recruiter with strong ties to the Northeast, Eaton is in his ninth season on the staff at Quinnipiac, which has reached the postseason three times since 2010 and is enjoying the best six-year stretch in program history. Eaton works with the program’s post players but is also involved with scouting, planning and on-court coaching. Eaton has also worked at Holy Cross and Albany.
Jared Grasso, Iona - In his fifth season as associate head coach and sixth on the Gaels’ sidelines. The Gaels have compiled a 140-64 record during his tenure on coach Tim Cluess’ staff and are headed back to the NCAA tournament after winning the MAAC tournament championship. While at Fordham, he was named interim head coach five games into the season.
Gus Hauser, UL Lafayette - On the Ragin Cajuns staff since 2013, Hauser has helped coach Bob Marlin lead the squad to a 61-39 overall record. Hauser lettered in football and basketball at Furman. He’s also worked at New Mexico State, Coastal Carolina and Wofford, made three NCAA tournament appearances and been part of teams that have a 276-175 overall record.
Martin Ingelsby, Notre Dame - A former Fighting Irish point guard who joined coach Mike Brey’s staff as an assistant seven seasons ago. An elite recruiter, he also works with Notre Dame’s guards, including Jerian Grant and Demetrius Jackson, and has been a key figure in the development of Pat Connaughton. Notre Dame has won 67 percent of its games with Ingelsby involved as a coach.
Terry Johnson, Butler - Johnson joined the Butler program in 2007 and has been part of four regular season conference championships, three tournament championships and two appearances in the national championship game, working for four different coaches. He also spent three seasons in two separate assistants as an assistant at Indiana-Purdue-FortWayne.
Dustin Kerns, Wofford - This is Kerns’ second stint at Wofford, sandwiched around a six-year run at Santa Clara. With the Terriers, he’s been integral to the solid foundation built by coach Mike Young for one of the Southern Conference’s elite programs. He handles scouting, recruiting and on-court coaching for Wofford. During his first tenure (2004-07), he recruited Noah Dahlman, the lone SoCon Player of the Year in program history.
Andre LaFleur, Providence - LaFleur, 51, played point guard for Jim Calhoun at Northeastern and worked on his staff at Connecticut, where he recruited legendary performers Hasheem Thabeet and Kemba Walker, and was on the bench for national championships in 2004 and 2011. A member of the New England basketball Hall of Fame, he slid over to become associate head coach under Ed Cooley in 2011.
Todd Lee, Grand Canyon - He has been Dan Majerle’s right-hand man for the past three seasons, helping the ‘Lopes to three straight trips to postseason (CIT). Prior to GCU, Lee spent eight seasons as the head coach at Kentucky Wesleyan. From 2006 through 2013, he posted a 134-48 record, averaging over 22 wins per season and a 77% winning percentage. He was just the fourth coach in program history to play in five NCAA tournaments. In 2012 Clarence 'Big House' Gaines Division II National Coach of the Year Award.
Carmen Maciariello, George Washington - After 10 successful seasons at Fairfield and Boston University, he is completing his second season on coach Mike Lonergan’s staff in Foggy Bottom. A Siena graduate, Maciariello has earned his reputation as a terrific recruiter who also excels in player development, including 2012 America East Player of the Year Darryl Partin, who he coached at Boston.
Jimmy McCarthy, Towson - Not many know the Colonial Athletic Association better than McCarthy, who worked for Bill Coen at Northeastern from 2006-2013 prior to joining Pat Skerry at Towson. McCarthy is one of the bright minds in college basketball, a dogged recruiter and sharp scout who also spent three years at Yale. He specializes with the Tiger’s perimeter players and three have earned All-CAA honors.
Preston Murphy, Creighton - A former Rhode Island point guard who scored almost 1,300 points and played in three NCAA tournaments. Spent five years at Rhode Island and Boston College before joining coach Greg McDermott in Omaha last May to help the new Big East members recruit the East Coast - and beyond. He works with the Bluejays guards.
Rob O'Driscoll, James Madison - He’s been coach Matt Brady’s right-hand man for more than a decade, first at Marist and for eight years in Harrisonburg, serving as associate head coach for the last five seasons. He specializes in the program’s organization and operation, while also having a stellar track record as a recruiter.
TJ Otzelberger, Iowa State - Otzelberger returned to Ames last April after two years at Washington. He was also on the Iowa St. staff from 2006 to 2013, working for former coaches Greg McDermott and Fred Hoiberg. He recruited All-American Melvin Ejim, the 2014 Big 12 Player of the Year and one of the best players in school history, mentoring 13 All-Conference players.
David Patrick, LSU - The Tigers’ assistant head coach has helped boss Johnny Jones land a top-five recruiting class twice in the last three years. Patrick, 39, is also a strong in-game and practice coach and handles scouting assignments at times. Previously he was on the staff at St. Mary’s when the program made a surprise run to the Sweet 16 in 2009.
Kyle Perry, USC Upstate - The Spartans’ recruiting coordinator is in his seventh season with the program and second as associate head coach. He helped the program score significant upsets over Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and make three appearances in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. He has been responsible for bring in some of the top players in the Atlantic Sun Conference who have gone on to be named Mid-Major All-Americans.
John Richardson, Old Dominion - He’s completing his ninth season as a Monarchs’ assistant. He worked for former coach Blaine Taylor from 2005-09, went to Virginia Tech from 2010-12, and returned to ODU in 2012, working for Taylor and retained by Jeff Jones. Richardson is a tenacious recruiter who was the state AAA Coach of the Year at Woodbridge HS in Virginia prior to entering college coaching.
Travis Steele, Xavier - The Musketeers are in the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, and Steele, in his seventh year under Chris Mack, is a significant piece of that winning puzzle. Named associate head coach prior to this season, he’s involved in every aspect of the Xavier program including skill development, recruiting and scouting.
Damon Stoudamire, Memphis - Another coach who is in his second stint at the same school as an assistant. The former Arizona star at point guard worked at Memphis from 2011-13, spent two seasons under Sean Miller at his alma mater, then returned to Memphis last spring. Has been part of three 30-win seasons during his six years coaching at the Division I level.
Kevin Sutton, Georgetown - A coaching veteran with almost 500 wins at the high school level, he’s been with coach John Thompson III and the Hoyas since June 2013. He also has two-year runs at James Madison and Old Dominion on his resume, as well as multiple experiences with various teams at assorted levels in USA Basketball. Earned his reputation as a terrific teacher of basketball.
Scott Wagers, Jacksonville - After a long run at East Tennessee State, Wagers joined coach Tony Jasick prior to 2014-15. During the 1990s he was a widely successful high school coach in Florida. At ETSU, the Buccaneers appeared in the postseason on seven occasions. He was named a top 60 assistant at Nike Villa 7 in 2011.
Jason Williford, Virginia - The former Cavalier player is in his seventh season helping coach Tony Bennett rack up victories in Charlottesville. Of course, that’s all he’s known. The Cavs won the NIT while he was in school (1992), reached the Sweet 16 and Elite 8. As an assistant at American, the program won the Patriot League in both seasons and played in the NCAA tournament.
Antoni Wyche, Lehigh - The Mountain Hawks’ fifth-year associate head coach has been a critical player in their recent success, which includes 2012 when future NBA guard C.J. McCollum led a first-round NCAA tournament upset of Duke. Altogether, the former starting guard at Notre Dame has spent seven seasons on the staff of coach Brett Reed and has cast a wide recruiting net throughout the United States.