Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Badgers basketball coaching tree

It's funny: when doing the Wisconsin football coaching tree, I was able to remember dozens of former assistant coaches, even guys who were only with the program for a couple years. But when trying to remember basketball assistants, I drew a blank. Thankfully the media guide materials available for download at has a list of all former assistant coaches, just as it did for football.

Writing this before I start the compilation, my gut feeling is that this list might be even more impressive than the football list. Let's see.

-Stu Jackson, executive vice president of basketball operations for the NBA. The man who really got the ball rolling on the Badgers' basketball renaissance is in the news a lot, mostly for suspension and referee-related issues.

-Stan Van Gundy, head coach of the Orlando Magic. Stan Van was the head man during my freshman year, 1994-95, arguably the most underachieving team in UW athletic history. How do you finish with a losing record with Rashard Griffith, Michael Finley, and others? Still, if Pat Riley had an ounce of selflessness in his body, Stan would have won an NBA title with the Heat two years ago, on the heels of the league refs' Dwayne Wade free throw-a-thon. Good for him.

-Tony Bennett, one of the hottest coaches in the nation for the job he's doing at Washington State. Give Dick a lot of credit for his plan, it worked out well for both WSU and his son. My gut says that Tony should move on to a better job after this season, since he'll lose a lot from a veteran team. Maybe he, not Jeter, is Bo's heir apparent.

-Rob Jeter, leading a baffling turnaround at UWM. If he gets some more talented kids who play with the kind of chemistry and fire his current kids are playing, they'll be a force.

-Saul Phillips (left), head coach at North Dakota State. He's an up-and-comer, and has Bo's kid, Will Ryan (right - what a resemblance!), on his staff. Also of note from this staff: Dan Weisse, former UWM and Oshkosh West standout, is Saul's director of basketball operations.

-Brad Soderberg recruited the players who scored 20 points in a game for St. Louis a couple weeks ago, and current coach Rick Majerus is throwing him under the bus. Classy, Rick. (If you haven't, read the SI story about Majerus, it showed a side of him I hadn't heard about before. Interesting guy.)

-Mark Vershaw, head coach at Monmouth (Ill.) College. From the little bit I've seen, his team is struggling.

-Howard Moore returned to UW after Jeter left and is doing a nice job for Bo.

-Tracy Webster has hooked up with Billy Gillispie at Kentucky. They're struggling, last night's win over Tennessee notwithstanding, but even money says Billy has them in the Final four within five years. He just needs time to fix the roster after Tubby Smith left it relatively bare.

-Brian Hecker, scouting information director for the Miami Heat.

-Sean Miller, an assistant for one year under Stu, is the coach at Xavier and one of the real rising stars in the profession.

-Tim Buckley, an assistant under Stu, is back at Marquette after stints at Ball State and Iowa.

-Bob Beyer, the third assistant on the 1993-94 staff, is an assistant at Dayton.

-Dave Bollwinkel, an assistant under Van Gundy, is a part-time scout for the Boston Celtics after serving as St. Mary's coach.

-Ray McCallum is an assistant with Kelvin Sampson at Indiana after being a head coach at Ball State and Houston.

Whew! That's more than I thought there would be. Who am I forgetting?


Kevin Hazaert said...

Not technically a coach, but he does sit on the bench during games and contributes ... Sharif Chambliss is the student-athlete mentor/tutor at UWM.

Rob has just about the same number of coaches as he does players now.

Anonymous said...

i think some former players are divion 3 coaches like:

Brian good- i think played for uw in the early 90's coaches at Queens university in Charlotte

Brian Vraney- played at uw i think 95-98 coaches at Beloit.

Chris Conger- i think played for UW in 1994 coaches lake forest college.

Those are some people that I remember playing for the Badgers.

ajs said...

Jon Bryant has a Basketball school up in MN- Triple Threat Academy or something? That's kind of a coach.

I have to admit...many of the guys on the list I have never heard of- some of Stu and VanGundy guys.

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