Barnes Announces Full-Time Coaching Staff

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes announced his full-time coaching staff Tuesday. The group includes associate head coach Rob Lanier, and assistant coaches Chris Ogden and Desmond Oliver.

Lanier and Ogden both were members of Barnes’ staff at Texas. Oliver spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Charlotte and also boasts five years of coaching experience in the SEC. All three played collegiate basketball.

“I’m excited about this group of coaches we’ve been able to assemble,” Barnes said. “Dave Hart and our administration have enabled us to bring in a staff that not only will excel in the areas of player development, recruiting and game management, but will also collectively serve as a tremendously positive group of mentors for the young men in our program. I have the utmost trust and confidence in each of them, and we’re all eager to give our all for Tennessee each and every day.”

Additional members of the Tennessee basketball support staff will be announced at a later date.

Rob Lanier – Associate Head Coach

Rob Lanier (pronounced: luh-NEER) enters his first season as associate head coach at Tennessee, but this is his seventh year working alongside head coach Rick Barnes.

In addition to boasting four years of Division I head coaching experience at Siena, the 46-year-old Lanier also has coaching in the Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big East Atlantic 10 and MAAC. He has worked on the bench for eight teams that advanced to NCAA Tournament play.

Immediately prior to his hiring at Tennessee in April 2015, Lanier served four seasons as Barnes’ associate head coach at Texas from 2011-15. It was Lanier’s second stint on Barnes’ staff in Austin.

Texas’ three-man recruiting class in 2014 featured McDonald’s All-American Myles Turner (No. 2 recruit by ESPN), No. 86-ranked prospect Jordan Barnett and transfer Shaquille Cleare, who was rated the No. 30 prospect nationally in 2012 by ESPN.

Texas’ six-man freshman class in 2012 was ranked No. 4 nationally by ESPN and included McDonald’s All-American Cameron Ridley, while the Longhorn’s six-man freshman crop in 2011 was tabbed the No. 4 recruiting class in the country by ESPN and included McDonald’s All-American Myck Kabongo.

In total, Lanier has played a role in signing eight McDonald’s All-Americans. And 10 players that he either signed or coached have gone on to become NBA Draft Picks.

Before returning to Texas, Lanier served as assistant coach under Billy Donovan at Florida for four seasons. In those four years, Lanier helped the Gators advance to postseason play every year while posting a 99-44 (.692) cumulative record.

Florida totaled 24 and 25 victories in 2007-08 and 2008-09, respectively. In 2009-10, the Gators went 21-13 and earned an NCAA Tournament berth. Florida then registered a 29-8 mark in 2010-11, won the SEC regular-season championship (13-3 record) and advanced all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Lanier’s tenure at Florida was preceded by a two-year stint as an assistant coach on Dave Leitao’s coaching staff at Virginia. During his second year in Charlottesville (2006-07), the Cavaliers posted a 21-11 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Despite being picked to finish eighth in the conference, Virginia registered an 11-5 mark in league play and claimed a share of the ACC regular-season championship with North Carolina. It marked the first league title for the Cavaliers since 1994-95.

Lanier spent four years as the head coach at Siena from 2001-05. During that span, the Saints posted a 58-70 mark and advanced to one NCAA Tournament and one NIT.

Siena won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Championship in 2002 and then defeated Alcorn State in an NCAA Tournament opening-round game before losing to eventual national champion Maryland in the first round. During the 2002-03 campaign, Lanier guided Siena to a 21-11 record a third-place MAAC finish with a 12-6 league mark. The Saints earned a berth in the NIT, where they defeated Villanova in the opening round and Western Michigan in the first round, before falling to UAB in the second round. Siena also defeated Providence during the regular season, marking the first time in school history that the Saints had defeated two Big East teams (Villanova and Providence) in the same year.

Prior to becoming the head coaching at Siena, Lanier worked alongside Barnes as an assistant coach at Texas for two seasons from 1999-2001. During that first stint in Austin, the Longhorns recorded a two-year mark of 49-18 (.731) and advanced to a pair of NCAA Tournaments. Texas posted a 24-9 record in 1999-2000, finished second in the Big 12 with a 13-3 league mark and advanced to the second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

In April of 2000, Texas earned a No. 15 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll (best in school history at that time) and occupied a spot in the AP top 25 all season for the first time in program history.

Junior center Chris Mihm developed into one of the top players in the nation during that 1999-2000 season, earning consensus first-team All-America honors, and he was selected as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls (traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers on draft night).

Lanier was a vital part of Texas’ recruiting success, helping the Longhorns land a consensus national top 10 signing class in 2000 that included Brian Boddicker, Royal Ivey, Jason Klotz, Brandon Mouton and James Thomas. During the 2000-01 season, Texas finished with a 25-9 record, tied for second in the Big 12 with a 12-4 league mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Lanier helped mold four true freshmen and eight total newcomers into a squad that ranked No. 18 in the final AP poll.

Also in 2000-01, the Longhorns tied a school record for most home wins in a season (16-1) and defeated two AP top-10 teams at home in the same season for the first time in school history (No. 5 Illinois, No. 6 Iowa State).

Prior to Lanier’s departure to take over the program at Siena, he played a major role in the recruitment of T.J. Ford, who went on to earn National Player of the Year honors with the Longhorns in 2002-03.

Lanier served as an assistant coach at Rutgers University for two seasons from 1997-99. While at Rutgers, he was instrumental in helping the Scarlet Knights secure back-to-back nationally-ranked recruiting classes. Included in Lanier’s first class was guard Dahntay Jones, who went on to earn 1999 Big East All-Rookie Team honors. Jones currently plays for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

Lanier’s first full-time collegiate coaching experience came at his alma mater, St. Bonaventure, from 1992-97. Prior to that, he broke into the college coaching ranks as a graduate assistant and then a restricted-earnings assistant coach at Niagara from 1990-92.

Lanier received his first head coaching experience in the summer of 1995, when he led a group of American collegians on a tour of the Netherlands. He also coached summer All-Star teams in Italy (1996), Germany (1998) and Greece (1999 and 2000).

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Lanier graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A four-year letterman with the Bonnies who scored 868 career points, he was a three-year starter and team captain during his senior season. Lanier earned Atlantic 10 Conference All-Freshman Team honors in 1986-87 and was named the team’s Most Improved Player in 1988-89. A two-time scholar-athlete nominee, he went on to earn a master’s degree in educational counseling from Niagara in 1993.

Born July 24, 1968, Lanier and his wife, Dr. Dayo Lanier, have one son, Emory, and one daughter, Kai.

Lanier’s cousin, Bob Lanier, is enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Bob Lanier led St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Final Four in 1970 before embarking on a 14-year NBA career that included eight All-Star selections.

Chris Ogden – Assistant Coach

Chris Ogden, a former Final Four team captain under coach Rick Barnes and a longtime member of Barnes’ Texas basketball staff, enters his first season as an assistant coach at Tennessee.

Ogden served the previous seven seasons as an assistant coach under Barnes and was on the Longhorns’ staff for a total of 12 years, also serving for four seasons as an administrative assistant with the program.

During his tenure as a full-time assistant, Ogden helped his alma mater to a 155-87 record, and the Longhorns advanced to the NCAA Tournament six times.

Ogden was instrumental in signing six McDonald’s All-Americans over the last seven seasons (Avery Bradley in 2009; Cory Joseph in 2010; Tristan Thompson in 2010; Myck Kabongo in 2011; Cameron Ridley in 2012 and Myles Turner in 2014).

Ogden has had a hand in assembling five recruiting classes that were ranked in the top 10 nationally by ESPN.

Texas’ three-man recruiting class in 2014 featured McDonald’s All-American Turner (No. 2 recruit by ESPN), No. 86-ranked prospect Jordan Barnett and transfer Shaquille Cleare, who was rated the No. 30 prospect in 2012 by ESPN. Texas’ six-man freshman class in 2012 was ranked No. 4 nationally by ESPN, and its six-man freshman class in 2011 was tabbed the No. 4 recruiting class in the country by ESPN. Despite a group that numbered only two, Texas’ class of Joseph and Thompson in 2010 was ranked as the No. 8 recruiting class nationally by ESPN. Texas’ three-man freshman class in 2009 was ranked No. 3 nationally by and No. 4 by ESPNU and included Bradley, the top-rated recruit in the country by ESPNU.

Texas climbed to the top of both major national polls on Jan. 11, 2010, marking the first time in program history that the Longhorns had been the top-ranked team in the country in either major poll.

Ogden helped guide Texas to a school-record 31 wins in a season in 2007-08. In 2006-07, using a starting rotation of four freshmen and a sophomore, the Horns posted a 25-10 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. And in 2005-06, Texas registered a 30-7 record and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Ogden has coached six players who have gone on have their name called in the NBA Draft.

Three Texas players were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 2011–the second consecutive year three Longhorns had been drafted. Thompson was taken with the No. 4 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jordan Hamilton was picked No. 26 by Dallas (then traded to Denver), and Cory Joseph was taken with the No. 29 pick by the San Antonio Spurs.

In 2010, Texas’ three draftees were Bradley (No. 19 pick by the Boston Celtics), Damion James (No. 24 pick by the Atlanta Hawks) and Dexter Pittman (No. 32 pick by the Miami Heat).

In his role as the Longhorns’ administrative assistant, Ogden supervised film exchange and played a major role in summer camp administration while also assisting with all of the basketball program’s internal operations.

Ogden played four years (2000-03) at forward for the Longhorns and was a member of four NCAA Tournament teams, reaching the Final Four as a senior captain. He completed his career at Texas with more team victories than any player in program history (97).

The team captain as a senior during the run to the 2003 Final Four, Ogden played in 85 career games-including three starts-and totaled 144 points, 88 rebounds and 40 assists. He earned the team’s Jay Arnette Award as a junior in 2001-02, an honor given to a player for behind-the-scenes efforts and contributions to the team.

Following his collegiate player career, he joined the Texas basketball staff as a student assistant coach for one year while he completed his undergraduate degree. Ogden was responsible for making personnel, team and post-game edits and supervised the film exchange process in that role. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in education in 2004.

A native of Seminole, Texas, Ogden played four years of varsity basketball at Seminole High School. He was crowned the state of Texas’ “Mr. Basketball” following his a senior season in 1998-99. That year, he averaged 17.3 points, 10.6 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game while leading SHS to a 36-4 record and a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state tournament.

Ogden and his wife, Katie, have three children: Bo, Ellie and Parker.

Desmond Oliver – Assistant Coach

Desmond Oliver is in his first year as assistant coach at Tennessee after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at Charlotte.

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Oliver has spent 19 years in the Division I coaching ranks and has experience in the Atlantic 10 (St. Bonaventure, 2000-01; Rhode Island, 2001-04; Charlotte assistant, 2010-15), Big 12 (Texas A&M, 1997-98), Ivy League (Cornell, 1998-00), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (Canisius, 2009-10) and SEC (Georgia assistant, 2004-09).

At Charlotte, Oliver played a major role in all aspects of head coach Alan Majors’ program, including recruiting, player development, game preparation, life skills, academics and community relations.

During his five seasons working to rebuild the 49ers program, Charlotte won a pair of holiday tournament titles (2013 Great Alaska Shootout and 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off), knocked off three top-15 opponents, posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2007 and received votes in both the AP and coaches’ poll. In 2012-13, Charlotte recorded its first 20-win campaign since 2007-08 and earned a berth in the NIT.

He spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant coach at Canisius, helping guide the Golden Griffins to the program’s highest single-season wins total in nine years.

Oliver brings with him to Tennessee five years of SEC coaching experience logged at Georgia from 2004-09. The Bulldogs made consecutive postseason appearances in 2007 (NIT) and 2008 (NCAA Tournament). And Oliver was on staff during one of the most memorable conference tournament runs in recent history when Georgia won two games on the same day to capture the 2008 SEC Tournament championship.

Prior to his tenure at UGA, Oliver spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Rhode Island, arriving at URI in 2001 with head coach Jim Baron after one season together at St. Bonaventure. In those three years of rebuilding at Rhode Island, the Rams improved from an 8-20 campaign in 2002 to consecutive 20-win seasons and postseason berths.

Oliver broke into the collegiate coaching ranks in his hometown under head coach Jack Armstrong at Niagara University in 1994. While serving the Purple Eagles, he helped recruit Alvin Young, who went on to lead all NCAA Division I players in scoring in 1999 and earn MAAC Player of the Year honors.

Oliver stayed at Niagara for three seasons before accepting an assistant coaching position at Texas A&M (then a member of the Big 12) prior to the 1997-98 season.

After one year in College Station, he then spent two years at Cornell (1998-2000) and then joined Jim Baron’s staff as an assistant coach at St. Bonaventure for the 2000-01 campaign.

Oliver is a 1992 graduate of Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y., where he was a three-year starter on the basketball team (1989-92) and a two-year team captain. He also earned a Master’s degree in student personnel administration from Buffalo State in 1994.

While attending Buffalo State, he began his coaching career as a varsity assistant and head junior varsity coach at Turner-Carroll High School in Buffalo.

Following an outstanding prep career at DeSales High School in Lockport, N.Y., Oliver played one year at Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y., under coach Bill Van Gundy (father of NBA head coaches Jeff and Stan).

Oliver is married to the former Annette Applewaithe and they have two children: Dante (10) and Dallas (4).

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