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Ranking the top 10 mid-major assistant coaching tandems

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Now that conference play is in full swing, let’s take a look at how several mid-major assistant tandems have fared

Jim Harrick

Head coaching moves get most of the attention during the offseason, but this past summer saw a ton of reshuffling in the assistant coaching deck. In total, CBS Sports reported that there were 55 NCAA Division I coaching changes in 2018, and with that came a slew assistant coaches moving on to new mid major programs.

This year’s crop is quite impressive and includes a former USA basketball coach, a Boston Celtics head coach, and a coach who won a national title.

Let’s take a look at how some of these assistant coaching tandems have fared so far.


1. Rhode Island

Current record: 11-7
Notable win: West Virginia
Assistant coaches: Kevin Sutton and John Caroll

Sutton comes to Rhode Island after spending the last two seasons at Pitt. He also has 11 seasons of coaching experience at the collegiate level, which included stops at Georgetown, George Washington, James Madison and Old Dominion. Sutton, a coaching veteran with 33 years of experience, has completed three different coaching tours for USA Basketball.

Carroll was the former head coach of the Boston Celtics in the 2003-04 season. He was also at the helm at Duquesne, where he was named the A-10 Coach of the Year in the 1991 season. Prior to his time at Duquesne, he was an assistant at Seton Hall.

2. Cal State Northridge

Current record: 9-12
Notable win: Long Beach State
Assistant coaches: Jim Harrick and Mo Williams

Jim Harrick won an NCAA championship at UCLA in 1995. He also led four teams to the NCAA tournament, won nine conference championships, and collected 450 victories. After UCLA, Harrick spent the next two years as the head coach of Rhode Island where he led the Rams to two NCAA Tournament berths and an Elite Eight appearance.

Williams enjoyed a prosperous 13-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he won an NBA championship. As a college player, Williams was named Sporting News National Freshman of the Year at the University of Alabama.

3. Fresno State

Current Record: 14-4
Notable win: Northwestern
Assistant coaches: Keith Brown and Tarvish Felton

Brown spent 14 seasons as an assistant coach at CSU Bakersfield and spent his final six seasons in Bakersfield as the Roadrunners’ head coach. Brown joins the Fresno State staff after spending the past two seasons as a special assistant to UNLV and the previous six seasons as an assistant coach at New Mexico State.

Felton has 19 years of coaching experience, including the last 10 seasons at Utah State.

4. UNC Asheville

Current record: 2-18
Notable win: None
Assistant coaches: R.J. Evans and Mike Moynihan

Evans was an assistant coach at the University of Louisville. Prior to his time at Louisville, Evans was on staff under Shaka Smart at the University of Texas.

Moynihan joined the UNC Asheville men’s basketball coaching staff from Mississippi State. Prior to joining Mississippi State, Moynihan served as the Director of Operations at George Mason.

5. Drake

Current record: 15-5
Notable win: New Mexico State
Assistant coaches: Matt Wooldley and Marty Richter

As the former head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies D-League, Woodley coached 21 future NBA players, including Klay Thompson and Hassan Whiteside.

Richter spent two successful seasons as head coach at Florida Southern before assuming his current Drake assistant coaching position. He was also an assistant at Florida Gulf Coast.

6. Loyola Maryland

Current record: 7-13
Notable win: Holy Cross
Assistant coaches: A.J. Guyton and Ivo Simovic

Guyton is a former Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and consensus All-American at Indiana. Prior to joining Loyola of Maryland, he was the director of player development at Northwestern.

Simovic is a veteran coach with NBA, European and NCAA experience. Most recently, he was an assistant coach at the UNC-Charlotte for the 2017-18 season.

7. Utah State

Current record: 14-5
Notable win: Saint Mary’s
Assistant coaches: David Rogland and Eric Peterson

Ragland has 15 years of cumulative coaching experience. Prior to joining Utah State, he was an assistant at Valparaiso. In his first season at Valparaiso, Ragland helped the Crusaders capture 24 victories, and a Horizon league conference title.

Peterson was formerly the assistant at South Dakota. While at South Dakota, the Coyotes enjoyed unprecedented success with back-to-back 20-win seasons, a regular season Summit League Championship and the school’s first-ever appearance in the conference championship game.

8. Saint Peter’s

Current record: 6-12
Notable win: Hampton
Assistant coaches: Ryan Whalen and Matt Eisle

Whalen came from Eastern Kentucky, where he was an assistant coach. Previously he spent six seasons at Seton Hall. While with the Pirates, Whalen served in various roles, including the Director of Basketball Operations.

Eisele brings over 10 years of coaching experience to Saint Peter’s, including seven seasons as a head or assistant coach. He was the Director of Recruiting at Rutgers.

9. La Salle

Current record: 4-14
Notable win: Massachusetts
Assistant coaches: Kyle Griffin and Kenny Johnson

Griffin was an assistant coach for the last two seasons at Robert Morris. Prior to his time in Pittsburgh, Griffin spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Lehigh.

Johnson, a nationally-recognized assistant, spent three seasons at Louisville. He is known as a top recruiter. After surveying more than 60 collegiate coaches in 2016, ESPN Insider ranked Johnson No. 10 amongst the nation’s best recruiters in the assistant coach ranks.

10. Florida Gulf Coast

Current record: 7-13
Big Win: South Dakota State
Assistant coaches: Joey Cantens and Donnie Marsh

Cantens returns to Florida Gulf Coast University for a second term. He was previously the program’s director of player operations. Last year, Cantens was an assistant on the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

Marsh was the former head coach at Florida International and Alabama A&M. In his 35-year career, he also had assistant coaching positions at Florida State, Virginia Tech and Indiana