With the move from Jim Calhoun to Kevin Ollie some reshuffling of the coaching staff at Connecticut was expected, and the school made those changes official on Friday afternoon.
Glenn Miller, who was an assistant on last year’s staff, was promoted to associate head coach while Karl Hobbs moves from director of basketball administration to assistant coach.
Hobbs joins George Blaney, who was Calhoun’s associate head coach, as assistants on Ollie’s staff and Kevin Freeman was promoted from assistant director of basketball administration to Hobbs’ old position.
So while there was some reassigning of duties the fact remains that Ollie, in his first season as a head coach at any level, has three assistants with extensive head coaching experience (57 years of it) to call on.
“As I said when I accepted the job as head coach at Connecticut, I think I have the greatest coaching staff in the country,” Ollie said in the statement released by the school.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have a staff with so much head coaching experience behind me. I know that we are going to work as hard as we can to continue the legacy of tremendous success that UConn enjoyed under Coach Calhoun.”
The question facing Ollie and his staff will be how they account for the departure of three starters, two of which were first-round NBA Draft selections (Andre Drummond and Jeremy Lamb), and a solid front court contributor in Roscoe Smith (14 starts).
Guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright will lead the way, and freshman guard Omar Calhoun should have ample opportunities to make things happen as well.
But most of the personnel hits came in the paint, where junior Tyler Olander is expected to lead the way.
Ollie may be faced with front court uncertainty, a postseason ban and a one-year contract, but it isn’t much different from what he dealt with for much of his NBA career.
With the question of the structure of the coaching staff now answered, the Huskies are ready to figure out if their former point guard is the man to lead them into the future.