Nebraska has hired Kenya Hunter as associate head coach, according to a release from the school. Hunter had previously been an assistant coach at Georgetown under John Thompson III.
“I’m really excited to add Kenya Hunter to our staff. He brings a wealth of experience in many areas which will help the Huskers reach our goals,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said. “Through my discussions with Kenya, I was very impressed with his knowledge of the game and his feel for the game, and I believe his extensive network of contacts will help us expand our recruiting boundaries.”
This hiring clears up some of the confusion regarding Georgetown’s coaching staff. After Mike Brennan was hired as the head coach at American, JT3 went out and hired both Tavaras Hardy and Kevin Sutton as assistants. Hunter’s decision to take the job with Nebraska makes sense, as it opened up a third assistant coach position.
The bigger news here is that this is just the latest example of Nebraska funneling money into the hoops program. Gary Parrish explains:
The Big Ten school opened a new $20 million basketball practice facility in October 2011, will open a new $179 million basketball arena this season, and is paying second-year coach Tim Miles a salary that’ll eventually exceed $2 million annually, which brings me to Hunter and his salary. A source told CBSSports.com that it’ll be $230,000 a year, and that all three Huskers assistants now make at least $200,000 a year. So while Nebraska is still quite obviously a “football” school, the administration has made it clear it thinks there’s no reason basketball can’t operate at a high level, too.
Now dumping money into a program doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s guaranteed to be successful, especially not when the Cornhuskers share a conference with Indiana, Ohio State, Wisconsin, both Michigans, and a number of other programs — Purdue, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, eventually Maryland — with significantly more hoops notoriety.
But the fact that the Huskers are investing in their hoops program means that they do care about getting better. They want to have a relevant basketball program.
And that’s the first step that needed to be made.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.