Charles Thomas - Akron
Thomas is an essential cog in Keith Dambrot's Zip coaching staff. Armed with several years in the NBA (player), D2 head coaching experience (Northwood), and 6 seasons on the bench at Akron, Thomas has recruited many key pieces, helped win 2 regular season and tournament MAC championships. High-major coaches will undoubtedly inquire about Thomas before long.
Brian Burg - UALR
Unassuming and calm, Burg epitomizes the distinct relationship between hard work and success. In 2 seasons at NCCU, Burg helped LeVelle Moton blaze through the MEAC with a 53-14 overall record, and an NCAA and NIT appearance. He was the first call Chris Beard made when assembling his staff at UALR. The ultra-short rebuilding process in Little Rock has been nothing short of extraordinary, with the Trojans accumulating 21 wins and counting...
Chris Moore - Southeast Missouri
Moore is rooted in honesty, integrity, organization, and work ethic. Able to relate to individuals from all walks of life, A practical basketball mind and pulse of the athletes he is coaching and recruiting. Recently uniting with Rick Ray at SEMO, he was the ideal hire for such a rebuilding project. Nevertheless, Moore's time has come for a shot with the big boys.
Mike Boynton - Stephen F. Austin
With stops seemingly all over the southeast…from the SoCon all the way to the SEC, Boynton has parlayed early success into a high level of connectivity. That connectivity has given Boynton an enormous recruiting network to draw from. With SFA’s success, it is quite evident that his network has been fruitful. Boynton's next jump will probably be right alongside Underwood.
Ali Ton - UC Irvine
Ton leverages his background as another unique coaching tool allowing him to meet today's trending interest in international student-athletes. Trust, Commitment, and Care are the three pillars Ton has built his coaching career on while embracing the importance of developing, nurturing and empowering student-athletes. Rest assured, a TON of people are noticing.
Lou Gudino - Indiana State
Ask coaches about "Lou", and they will talk about his sense of humor, perspective, but mostly, his brilliant basketball mind. He is the Yin to Greg Lansing's Yang at Indiana State. Gudino had success as a JC head coach at (Frank Phillips) averaging 21 wins per season. It won't be long before a high-major head coach or mid-major AD swoops Lou up for his next adventure.
Dustin Kerns - Wofford
Always quick to reach out with a helping hand or networking to build relationships benefitting all aspect of coaching, Kerns has helped the Wofford Terriers set school record upon record, while signing multiple All-Southern Conference players, as well as the SoCon Player of the Year. Kearns is in a terrific spot and is likely in line to take over should his boss make a jump.
Greg Grensing - Middle Tennessee
A visionary able to see the untapped potential in a recruit and how he can impact a team 2-3 years down the road. A true floor general in practice, his presence has been dramatic and integral in every program he has touched; UNLV, Creighton, and Kansas State to name a few. Grensing’s time at MTSU has proven that he still has “it”. No surprise to see the veteran return to the BCS level if some Athletic Director doesn’t pluck him to lead his own program first.
Chris Harriman - New Mexico
Australian native, Harriman is in a position to leverage his network to challenge Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s for rights to down-under. From Majerus to Miles, he’s learned from the best. Seated beside Craig Neal, Harriman is still learning while sharing his experiences to help win championships at New Mexico. Harriman is in a prime spot, but ready when the call comes.
Chris Shumate - Western Kentucky
With mid-western values and southern hospitality, Shumate’s American heartland experience in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi lends an open door policy willing to take time to speak with eager basketball enthusiasts. Known for molding young men into complete players, Shumate is a complete coach with a very bright future.
Wes Long - VCU
No stranger to winning, this former highly successful D2 coach has Long been associated with Wade. He is highly regarded as having a next level court IQ and it’s obvious he can impart that skill given the success his players have had both in the classroom and on the court. His stay in Richmond may be short lived, as Long will soon be in high demand.
Brian Ayers - Belmont
Part of Nashville basketball royalty, this 18-year Bruin aid is just as impactful as his boss. Ayers specializes in almost everything; including efficiency. From NAIA to D1, while other staffers have moved on riding the sails of success, Ayers stayed loyal and earned the title of associate head coach. However, his vast experience makes him a great candidate for a higher calling.
Todd Lee - Grand Canyon
“Thunder Dan” knew he needed an experienced college basketball coach and hired a near perfect fit. The immediate success they have enjoyed in D1 could arguably be traced in large part to Lee. He’s a proven winner, as shown by his head coaching success at Kentucky Wesleyan (D2) where he boasted a 154-81 overall record. Litera-Lee, Todd’s next jump could be 15’ down the hall as Majerle will certainly have some suitors at season’s end.
Jared Grasso - Iona
Simply put, the former Fordham interim head coach is the best assistant coach in the MAAC. His impact on Iona basketball has been nothing short of amazing. Grasso has proven that he can recruit and coach with the best of them. Now it’s only a matter of finding the next best fit.
Jeff Linder - Boise State
Linder’s name is no stranger to water cooler talks about who should replace who when the carousel cranks up every spring. In fact, some say he is the best assistant coach in the Mountain West. With a brilliant offensive mind, Jeff Linder could be the next Boise State assistant to land a head coaching job.
Bobby Steinburg - Kent State
A coach who simply “gets it”, Steinburg can coach, recruit, and knows how to win. As a head coach, he rebuilt Motlow State to a single-season record of 28 wins in only two years. Now in his 8th season at Kent, he’s been vital to the Flash’s success (23-wins per season during his tenure). Whether it’s a high-major assistant or mid-major head coaching position, Steinburg will be an absolute steal!
Mark Downey - IPFW
Talented and underrated, Downey is a proven winner! A 10-year head coach in JC and D2, he won 204 games with 3 of 4 programs being rebuilding projects. In 2014, he took a leap of faith to rejoin the D1 madhouse as an assistant. Wouldn't you know, a 21-win season in '14-'15 at Bowling Green and currently the best start in program history in program history at IPFW. Downey = WINNER!
Ross Hodge - Colorado State
Cutting his teeth in the JUCO ranks leading both Paris and Midland, he compiled a 146-24 overall record. Hodge’s first Division 1 opportunity came as an assistant under Larry Eustachy at Southern Miss. He has been making the most of that opportunity. Now five years and 1400 miles later (Colorado State) Hodge is ready for yet another step up.
Scott Duncan - Wyoming
With perhaps the most experienced on our list with more than 34 years in college coaching, Duncan has been associated with all levels of D1 programs. A staff member for USA Basketball’s Jr. National Team, he is dedicated to forging strong relationships and constantly bettering himself. The time has come for Scott Duncan to take over the wheel of his own program.
Rob Ehsan - UAB
Hall of Famer, Gary Williams had an eye for talent. So it’s no surprise he bumped a 24 year-old G.A., (Ehsan) to assistant coach without a 2nd thought while at Maryland. Now assoc. head coach at UAB, he not only signs the best talent in C-USA, but runs their potent offense. Ehsan has been instrumental in the Blazers reconstruction and is destined to be a D1 head coach.
Bob Cantu - UTEP
The former interim USC head coach is well respected and ranks 24th on CoachStat’s Top 25 X’s & O’s Assistant Coaches. The fact that he shows up again and with an even higher ranking is no surprise. Next stop for Cantu won’t have an “interim” tag on it.
Tommy Lloyd - Gonzaga
A fixture on the bench of a Gonzaga team that has more-or-less shed the mid-major title with national success; in no small part thanks to Lloyd. Key recruiter and after 15 years with Mark Few, he has learned a thing or two about how to run a program. Every year Athletic Directors inquire about Lloyd, but he has earned the right to be very selective.
Kevin Kuwik - Dayton
In 2004, Kuwik deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom fulfilling his old college ROTC agreement. He survived war through his mantra: TURN A NEGATIVE INTO A POSITIVE! The ability to meet all challenges in life HEAD-ON exemplifies his coaching. Kuwik creates character and has been around successful programs his entire life; excelling at excellence!
Justin Hutson - San Diego State
Hutson is widely known as one of the top 10 recruiting assistant coaches in the nation. He also finds value in defense and repeatedly has his teams ranked among the top of every defensive category. Hard to leave gorgeous San Diego, but soon the offers will be difficult to turn down.
Greg Heiar - Wichita State
164-15 in 6-years as Chipola head coach! Two seasons at Southern Miss. with back-to-back 20+ wins. Now at Wichita, boasting a 122-21 record and a Final 4 since Heiar arrived. The Shockers commitment to men’s hoops has put Heiar in a position to only leave for a mid-major (or better) head coaching job with strong basketball tradition and a generous financial package.
Our national panel of media, scouts,and coaches voted on Low and Mid Major Assistants Ready For A Jump relative to impact on their current program, demonstrated success in college athletics, coaching history, professional and ethical conduct, recruiting success, practice/game planning and management, congeniality, community service and more.