Texas-Pan American hires Dan Hipsher to lead program

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When Texas-Pan American athletic director Chris King announced his decision to not renew the contract of head coach Ryan Marks in mid-March he stated that his expectations for the future played a role in the decision. With UTPA moving from the Great West Conference to the WAC this summer, the Broncs will have an opportunity to compete for an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

With that in mind King has hired an experienced coach to take over the program, as the school announced on Friday morning that Alabama associate head coach Dan Hipsher will be the new head coach.

Hipsher, who was Anthony Grant’s right-hand man for the last four seasons, has 15 years of experience as a head coach at the collegiate level in addition to his many years as an assistant.

“Coach Hipsher’s high standards and core values are exactly what we were looking for in the search for our next head men’s basketball coach,” King said in a statement released by the school. “He is a nationally known and well-respected veteran coach who will increase our footprint in the State of Texas and has the experience we were seeking as we transition our men’s basketball program to the Western Athletic Conference next season.

“Not only were we impressed with his plan to prepare our student-athletes for excellence in life, but he also has a strong track record of mentoring assistant coaches who went on to become head coaches, including Alabama’s Anthony Grant, VCU’s Shaka Smart, Lamar’s Pat Knight and Akron’s Keith Dambrot.”

As a head coach (Wittenberg College, Stetson and Akron) Hipsher has a record of 238-182, winning three league Coach of the Year awards. UTPA finished the 2012-13 season 16-16 overall, and one of Hipsher’s first responsibilities (in regards to the roster) is finding a replacement for leading scorer Brandon Provost (15.0 ppg).

“Pan American men’s basketball has a rich history that includes some great success, and I know we can return the Broncs to national prominence on the court,” Hipsher said in the statement. “We’re also going to be active members of the community and strong in the classroom.

“The UTPA Athletics Department is clearly on the rise, and I look forward to being a part of that.”

Photo credit: University of Alabama

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

Former Wichita State assistant returns as a consultant

Chris Jans, Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.

Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.

“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”

While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.

h/t ShockerHoops.net

AUDIO: Rick Pitino discusses allegations, future at Louisville

Rick Pitino
Associated Press
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Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.

The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.

“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.

“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.

“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”

Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.