Bellarmine welcomes back Thelen as assistant coach

Bellarmine University Head Basketball Coach Scott Davenport announced today that former Knights All-American Jake Thelen has been added to the full-time coaching staff.

“Jake Thelen is much more than a tremendous young coach, he represents what the game of basketball/life needs, he is a great teacher!” said Davenport. “His loyalty to Bellarmine is in one word, phenomenal. I am thrilled he is back home.”

Thelen, who was a consensus All-American as senior on Bellarmine’s 2015 Final Four team, served as a graduate manager on Tom Crean’s staff at Indiana University last season. “Jake Thelen added value and energy to our program from the first day he walked in,” Crean said. “He is as diligent, smart and hard-working as any young coach I’ve had the opportunity to work with.  He will bring his very best back to Scott Davenport and the entire program at Bellarmine and build on the outstanding legacy he already has there as he helps attract the best and brightest into one of the premier programs in all of basketball.”

“I am happy to be back at Bellarmine, a place I call home,” Thelen said. “I’m also grateful to Coach Davenport for the opportunity. I look forward to helping the Knights continue the outstanding success we have had in recent years”

Thelen will assist in all areas of the team, but will focus on recruiting, defense, scouting opponents and working with the post players.

As a player at Bellarmine, the native of Edgewood, Kentucky garnered All-America accolades from five different organizations his senior season after averaging 18.6 points and 10. 7 rebounds a game to become the first Knight in 27 years to average a double-double.

Thelen’s play his senior year helped guide the Knights to a 31-4 record, a Great Lakes Valley Conference regular-season title, a Midwest Regional championship and a berth in the Final Four. The Covington Catholic (Ky.) High School product was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Midwest Regional along with gaining All-Tournament honors at the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament. In a GLVC Player of the Year campaign, Thelen amassed the second-most points and rebounds in a single season in Knights history.

Despite spending only three years with the program, Thelen finished his career 16th on the all-time scoring list with 1,412 points (now 17th on the career list).  He also set the record for best single season shooting percentage by making 74 percent of his shots as a junior.

Thelen replaces Beau Braden, who was recently announced as the top assistant at Morehead State University.

Beau Braden is an outstanding person and coach. I wish him the best on and off the court,” Davenport said.

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