Per Mark Berman's blog, three former members of the Marquette Golden Eagles basketball staff appear to be joining Buzz Williams staff in Blacksburg, presumably in the same roles they held in Milwaukee. Issac Chew, Brad Autry, and Jeff Reynolds have all been around the college game for some time in various capacities.
While Marquette wouldn't confirm they were headed to Blacksburg (they would only maintain that they retained one of the assistants to assist with the transition, who is fairly old to be transitioning to a new school at age 67), but the conventional wisdom is that with the new salary pool available (upwards of $800k) to basketball assistants that the group would jump to join Williams at VT.
Let's look at who we're adding:
Isaac Chew: After starring in Chicago during high school, he played in Iowa JUCO, then Avila University (never heard of it) outside of Kansas City. A family man, married with four children, he has a proven track record of coaching winners. He worked with Frank Haith at Mizzou (undoubtedly needed four showers a day to do that), and won at lesser programs like Murray State. He was instrumental in Marquette's top 15 recruiting class in 2013. He has never stayed too long in one spot.
Brad Autry: Autry was promoted from within at Marquette. He was formerly coordinator of student-athlete development. Perhaps his largest career accomplishment as an assistant was helping Bill Self lead Tulsa to the 2000 Elite Eight. He has bounced around a great deal, and did some stellar recruiting work for Baylor in the late '90s before the Dotson/Dennehy murder scandal broke out and the program was re-built under Scott Drew. He is the rare double directional state star, having played his college ball at NorthWestern Oklahoma State.
Jeff Reynolds: A veteran who began his career at JMU back in 1981, he spent a good deal of his team in North Carolina and in the Big South territories with UNC Greensboro and Wingate, so maybe he can be a value-add with contacts in that region which is part of our recruiting footprint. He's coached at Air Force and Tulane, and seems entrenched in his role as Director of Basketball Operations.
I find it tough to discern who Williams' top assistant is going to be. Both Chew and Autry are recent promotions, who both serve as strong recruiters. I would think a coach with Buzz's outsized personality might need a second in command in order to unruffle the players' feathers after a dressing down, or someone who can manage the sideline in the event of an ejection. Because you already know that Karl Hess and his brethren are going to test this "northerner" in the same manner they tested Jim Boeheim this season.
We can't argue with such success in a league like the Big East. Hopefully, the rumors that Ace Custis is interested in joining the staff are true, and the program takes advantage of a valuable resource at its disposal. It certainly didn't hurt recruiting when Cornell waded into Hampton Roads this past winter and emerged with two four star recruits, did it?
As always, stay posted as things are ever nebulous.
MI Cassell es su Cassell.
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