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BRIAN BLANEY (Stony Brook): Blaney has emerged as one of the bright young assistants, under the tutelage of Nick Macarchuk. Now in his fifth season at Stony Brook, the young Blaney is both genuine and loyal. An avid fly fisherman, he has competed in the New York and the Montauk Triathlons. Also, Blaney recently competed in a commemorative bike ride, sponsored by WORLD TEAM SPORTS, which began at Ground Zero and ended at the Pentagon. The event covered 277 miles and involved over 1,200 riders.

TOM BRENNAN (Vermont): Bob Ryan tabbed him as young Robert Redford. The charismatic Brennan isn't exactly the "Horse Whisperer," but he is one of the most well-liked coaches in America. Seemingly forever loved in Burlington, VT, Brennan is one of the friendliest and personable people in the profession. And he is also one of the most entertaining. Following a three-win season, early in his career, Brennan said nobody in America was paid more per win than himself. He's an original classic.

KEITH BROWN (Portland): This recently married 33-year old coach has been a valuable part of head coach Michael Holton's staff. His primary responsibilities include everything from recruiting and on-court player development to conditioning and planning. Brown, a former second-team all-South Coast Conference guard at El Camino, has completed two Los Angeles Marathons in the past four years. The energetic assistant has helped the Pilots to a much-improved campaign in 2003-04. He has a very bright future in coaching.

TIM BUCKLEY (Ball State): Coach Buckley is as unassuming as they come. It is difficult if not impossible to find any coach that has nothing but the best things to say about this coach. On the court, he has done a terrific job since taking over for Ray McCallum. But he is not one that takes well to compliments about his efforts as a coach. Self-absorbed he is not. Down-to-earth is an expression often thrown around, but the three words were almost written with Buckley in mind.


JEFF CAPEL (VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH): Phenomenal. That is the best way to describe the job he has done in his short time at VCU. The former Duke standout has all the makings of a big time coach. When he was promoted to head coach, Capel was the youngest head coach in America at the ripe-old age of 27. Capel joined the VCU family in 2001-02 as an assistant coach. He came to VCU after serving as an assistant coach at Old Dominion during the 2000-01 season. During last season, Capel assisted in scouting and on-floor preparation, in addition to having many administrative duties with the Rams program.

BARRY COLLIER (Nebraska): Barry is as genuine as they come, but his persona is somewhat misunderstood. While he is a first class individual, Collier is thought to be tight-vested and without much personality. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Coach Collier is actually a very engaging individual, with quite a sense of humor. But it's his uncompromising integrity, which has made every place he has coached a better place, what he is best known for. He is easily one of the most likeable people in the coaching profession.

DAN DAKICH (Bowling Green): Coach Dakich tells it like it is. If you are afraid you might not like the answer then don't ask Dan Dakich the question. And if he is not happy about being on this list he will undoubtedly let me know. In addition to being straight forward, Dakich is also of the most loyal in the business. If Dan Dakich is your friend then you have a friend for life. In addition, Dakich is also an excellent coach, having learned from the best (Bob Knight disciple). And like a lot of coaches, he is a bit superstitious. Two years ago he continued to wear his sport coat backwards because his team kept winning. Yes he actually would walk onto the court with his coat on in reverse.

RECE DAVIS (ESPN): There are a lot of media personalities that seem sweet and charming on the air, but when the light goes red so does their warm and fuzzy personality. Unfortunately there are too many of those types to count, but Rece is certainly not one of them. Of all the media people I have ever met, no one has been more professional then Davis. That Southern gentleman approach is actually the real Rece Davis. The host of College Game Night, Davis brings a lot of wit and wisdom to the tube. And put a New York Yankee cap on him and he's a dead ringer for Mike Mussina.

NEIL DOUGHERTY (Texas Christian): He spent seven years as an assistant to Roy Williams. Enough said. But he also has a connection with Roy's rival at Duke. Dougherty, attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. At Army, he was recruited by and played one year for Mike Krzyzewski. He played several games as a freshman and was a part-time starter as a sophomore under coach Pete Gaudet. The 42-year old Dougherty has all the makings of a future star and the people at TCU should be thrilled to have him working his trade for the Horned Frogs.

ERIC EATON (Holy Cross): Soon after he burst into the fashion power index, last season, Eaton became an immediate favorite among the women in Worcester, MA. Sorry ladies, but he is happily married. Eaton is a very humble individual, almost embarrassed that his attire got him a spot in the FPI. In his fourth season at Holy Cross, Eaton is the senior member of head coach Ralph Willard's staff. As a player at UMass-Dartmouth, he played on three teams, which advanced to NCAA Tournament. The 1992-93 squad reached the Final Four while the 1993-94 team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.  He will get his shot, in the not-too-distant future, to be a head coach.
 

                                                                                               - Angela Lento, CollegeInsider.com

 

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