With the departure of Rashon Burno, who arrived from Florida following Billy Donovan’s move to the NBA, to join Bobby Hurley’s staff at Arizona State, Nebraska head coach Tim Miles had a spot to fill on his coaching staff. Saturday it was announced by the school that Miles has found his man, with Phil Beckner officially joining the Nebraska coaching staff.
Beckner has experience at both the Division I and NBA D-League levels, as he spent seven seasons at Weber State before joining the Oklahoma City Blue coaching staff last season. Beckner not only helped Weber State establish a recruiting presence within Texas (he was also key in the team’s play defensively), but he was also instrumental in the development of players such as NBA lottery pick (and 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year) Damian Lillard.
And Lillard was among those who spoke highly of Beckner via Twitter once the news of him joining the Nebraska coaching staff became official.
“I believe hiring Phil Beckner will help our program immensely,” Miles said in the release. “I have known Phil for years – meeting him out on the recruiting trail. I have a great deal of respect for his ability to recruit, coach and develop players in all areas of their lives.
“As strong as he is as a coach, he’s a better person who truly cares about the young people he works with. I can’t wait to get him started working for the Huskers!”
Beckner will look to help Nebraska rebound from a disappointing 2014-15 season, with senior guard Shavon Shields (15.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) being the team’s leading returning scorer and rebounder. The Huskers will take a preseason trip to Spain, which runs from August 13-23.
One week after losing Richie Riley, who joined Brad Brownell’s coaching staff at Clemson, UAB head coach Jerod Haase has reportedly found a replacement.
According to Gene Henley of the Chattanooga Free Press, Turner Battle will fill the vacancy on the UAB coaching staff. Per the report, Chattanooga head coach Will Wade announced the departure of his assistant on Friday. Battle, who played collegiately at the University at Buffalo, joined Wade’s staff at Chattanooga last spring after spending the prior six working under Reggie Witherspoon at his alma mater.
“Turner was a high-level player and is a high-level person,” Wade said at the time of Battle’s appointment. “His experience on the court as a student-athlete, and his proven ability to coach and recruit makes him the perfect addition to our staff. I could not be happier that he agreed to be a part of bringing ‘Chaos’ to Chattanooga.”
Battle joins Robert Ehsan and Jeff Wulbrun as assistants on Haase’s staff, and interestingly enough he’ll see his old boss during the 2014-15 season. UAB visits Chattanooga on December 22.
With the offseason turmoil that ultimately led to the College of Charleston relieving Doug Wojcik of his head coaching duties, assistant coach Ryan Freeberg was one name mentioned when it came to who would replace Wojcik with the start of practice rapidly approaching. The College of Charleston went in another direction however, bringing in Clemson assistant Earl Grant to get things headed in the right direction.
Freeberg moved on in the aftermath, and on Wednesday it was announce that he’s joined Chuck Driesell’s staff at The Citadel as an assistant coach. Freeberg joins the Southern Conference program after spending two seasons at the College of Charleston, so there’s some familiarity with the conference he’ll be coaching in given the fact that last year was Charleston’s first in the CAA after leaving the SoCon.
“I am excited that we have added Ryan Freeberg to our basketball staff,” Driesell said in the release. “He comes to us highly recommended with great experience and knowledge in both the recruiting and basketball phases of the game. He has worked hard in the profession and has developed a strong reputation amongst his peers and I am confident he will come here and be a great asset to our basketball program and The Citadel.”
While it certainly wouldn’t be classified as a “trade,” Freeberg’s move to The Citadel comes on the heels of a staffer heading in the opposite direction. J.D. Powell, who was an assistant on Driesell’s staff for the last five seasons, is now on Grant’s staff at the College of Charleston.