Austin Shaver joins Longwood Basketball Staff

Calling on a coach with more than a decade of experience, with the majority of those years at successful Division I programs in the Commonwealth, Longwood men’s basketball head coach Griff Aldrich announced the hiring of Austin Shaver as assistant coach Tuesday.

A former assistant coach at William & Mary under Tony Shaver and graduate assistant at VCU under Anthony Grant, Shaver has amassed a 190-179 (.515) record during his 12-year collegiate coaching career, including 163 of those wins on Division I staffs. He has been a part of four 20-win teams, including the 2007-08 Colonial Athletic Association regular-season champion VCU team that went 24-8, and three consecutive 20-win squads at William & Mary from 2014-16.

“We are thrilled to welcome Austin, Kelly and their family back to Farmville and the Longwood Basketball family,” Aldrich said. “It is a tremendous opportunity for our program and university to get a coach of Austin’s caliber on our staff. He has a keen basketball mind and tremendous experience which will yield tremendous dividends for our players and program. But, most importantly, having known Austin for over 20 years, I know he is a man who shares our values and will immediately help build the culture we are striving to establish here at Longwood.”

A 2007 graduate of the University of Virginia and a 2009 graduate from VCU’s Center for Sports Leadership master’s program, Shaver comes to Longwood after a successful nine-year stint under his father at perennial CAA contender William & Mary. After beginning his time with the Tribe as director of operations in 2010-11 and 2011-12, he was elevated to assistant coach in 2012-13 and helped the program to one of its most successful stretches in history. The Tribe went 123-96 (.562) in his seven years as assistant coach, posted winning records five times, and put together top-four finishes in the CAA in each of his last six seasons.

Shaver’s hiring at Longwood marks his coaching return to his hometown of Farmville where from 2008-10 served as an assistant coach at Hampden-Sydney, the alma mater of Aldrich and the program his father built into a national Division III powerhouse from 1986-2003.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to join coach Aldrich and the Longwood family,” said Shaver, who joins the Lancers alongside his fellow William & Mary coach Luke Ford, who was announced as Longwood’s newly appointed director of recruiting and program development this past week.

“I am a true believer in coach Aldrich’s commitment to developing young men on and off the court through the game of basketball. I look forward to helping build on the foundation that was laid last season, as well as my family becoming part of the Longwood and Farmville communities.”

Of Shaver’s 12 seasons as a coach at the collegiate level, his teams have finished .500 or better eight times, including in 2014-15 when helped lead William & Mary to a share of the CAA regular-season championship. He has made two trips to the National Invitational Tournament, doing so with VCU in 2007-08 and William & Mary in 2014-15.

The son of a renowned head coach with more than four decades of experience in Tony Shaver, Austin began his coaching career during his days as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. His first position was as an assistant coach at The Miller School of Albemarle, located in Charlottesville, Va., during the 2006-07 season. He then became a head coach for the first time with the East Coast Fusion AAU program, holding that post for the 2007 season before graduating from Virginia and moving into his role as a graduate assistant at VCU.

Throughout his nearly 15-year coaching career, Shaver has gained experience in every facet of the profession. Most recently at William & Mary, he mentored the Tribe’s post players, scouted opponents, led film sessions and practices, recruited around the nation and handled many logistical elements of the program, including budget planning, equipment, promotions, camps and team travel.

William & Mary’s post players excelled under Shaver, with those big men earning a combined seven All-ACC awards during his tenure. Center Nathan Knight was also selected as one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award this past year, putting him alongside fellow finalists from Georgetown, Maryland, Western Kentucky and Wisconsin. That top-five finish in the award voting was the culmination of a drastic developmental arc in which Shaver helped transform the 6-10, 245-pound Knight from an 8.2-points per game scorer as a freshman in 2016-17 into a 21.0-point scorer who also averaged 8.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game as a junior in 2018-19,

Now at Longwood, Shaver becomes the newest member of a Lancer coaching staff that led the program to a breakthrough 2018-19 season. In year one under Aldrich, the Lancers won the second-most games of the program’s Division I era, reached the College Basketball Invitational for the program’s first Division I postseason appearance, and defeated Conference USA runner-up Southern Miss in the CBI first round for the program’s first D-I postseason victory.

Shaver joins Aldrich, Ford and assistant coach Marty McGillan on the Lancer bench for the 2019-20 season, which will see Longwood bring back three starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s squad. At the core of that group is the senior trio of Shabooty Phillips, JaShaun Smith and Jaylon Wilson, three starters who combined to produce more than 45 percent of Longwood’s scoring last season.

Tagged with: