Tag: assistant coaching changes

Seton Hall Athletics

Assistant coach Dwayne ‘Tiny’ Morton leaves Seton Hall staff

Leave a comment

During the recruitment of guard Isaiah Whitehead much was made about the impact that his coach at Lincoln HS, Dwayne “Tiny” Morton, would have on the process. With Morton, who led Lincoln to eight PSAL titles and three New York state titles during his time at the Coney Island school, looking to make the move to the Division I level himself the general feeling was that the two would come as a tandem.

And once Whitehead committed to Seton Hall, it came as no surprise that Morton eventually wound up on Kevin Willard’s coaching staff. What does come as a surprise in all of this is that Morton has stepped down from his assistant coaching position after just one season, with Zach Braziller of the New York Post reporting the news Saturday night.

Sources said Morton expressed the desire to return to his old life a month ago in discussions with Willard, and the two spoke about it several times since. Morton worked well under Willard, sources said, but the grind of travel and constant drain of recruiting wore on him.

“It was definitely his choice,” a source said, referring to Morton.

Morton’s decision was one he made on his own according to the report, and it isn’t expected to have an impact on Whitehead’s status as he prepares for his sophomore campaign.

The 2014-15 season, which got off to a great start, turned out to be a tumultuous one for Seton Hall. Internal strife played a major role in the Pirates going from a team that was ranked in the Top 25 to not even playing in a postseason tournament. Willard also lost guard Jaren Sina midyear, as Sina decided to leave the program and ultimately transfer to George Washington, and fellow guard Sterling Gibbs joined the UConn program this summer as a grad student for his final season of eligibility.

With those struggles, and the fact that Willard has yet to lead the Pirates to the NCAA tournament since taking over in 2010, the 2015-16 season is a big one for Seton Hall. The next question is who fills Morton’s spot on the staff, with multiple outlets reporting that former Seton Hall center (and current Fairleigh Dickinson assistant) Grant Billmeier is the favorite to do so.

Harvard’s Tommy Amaker adds Brian Eskildsen to coaching staff

Siyani Chambers and Tommy Amaker (AP Photo)
Leave a comment

In each of the last two offseasons Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker has lost an assistant to Vanderbilt, with Yanni Hufnagel (now at Cal) making the move in 2013 and Adam Cohen doing so this past spring. With Cohen’s departure there was a vacancy to be filled and on Wednesday Harvard officially announced its hiring of Brian Eskildsen.

Eskildsen followed a path to Cambridge similar to that of Cohen, as he was a member of Ben Braun’s staff at Rice last season. Cohen spent the 2012-13 season as a member of Braun’s staff before joining the Harvard staff for a season.

Eskildsen served as the recruiting coordinator at Rice, and he joins a staff that consists of associate head coach Brian DeStefano and assistant Christian Webster. Harvard’s won at least a share of the last four Ivy League titles, winning an NCAA tournament game in each of their last two appearances.

The Crimson lost three key seniors (forward Kyle Casey and guards Brandyn Curry and Laurent Rivard) from last season’s team but they’re expected to be the favorites in the Ivy League once again in 2014-15.

Guard Siyani Chambers, guard/forward Wesley Saunders and forward Steve Moundou-Missi lead the returnees, and highly-regarded power forward Chris Egi joins a front court that has a number of options.

Lamar head coach Tic Price completes coaching staff with two hires

Lamar Athletics
Leave a comment

New Lamar head coach Tic Price has filled out his coaching staff for the 2014-15 season, with the school announcing the hiring of assistant coach Brian Burton and director of basketball operations Matt Pace on Friday. Burton, who spent his last three seasons at new Division I school Abilene Christian, takes over the role left vacant when Tony Madlock joined Andy Kennedy’s staff at Ole Miss.

Burton also has coaching experience at the junior college level, and that experience can help Lamar on the recruiting trail given the number of quality junior college programs in the state.

“Coach Burton a rising star with a high ceiling,” Price said in the release. “I believe he has a great future ahead of him. Brian has the ability relate well to players. One of the things I liked about him is that he is a tireless worker on the court and on the recruiting trail. He has a great eye for talent.”

Price will begin his first full season as the head coach at Lamar after serving as the team’s interim head coach in the last five games of the 2013-14 season. Lamar finished the year with a 4-26 record, going 3-15 in Southland Conference play. Lamar returns two of its top four scorers from that team, led by senior forward Donovan Ross (10.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg).