Brad Autry Named Assistant at Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois University men’s basketball head coach Barry Hinson announced that he has hired former Hawaii and Marquette assistant Brad Autry to fill the opening on his staff. The position opened up three weeks ago when SIU’s associate head coach Tom Hankins left for a head-coaching position at Central Oklahoma.

Autry coached last season on Benjy Taylor’s staff at Hawaii, and prior to that, spent six seasons at Marquette working for Buzz Williams — the first four as a coordinator of student-athlete development, and the final two as assistant coach.

“I’ve known Brad for 15 years, and in this profession, you have to hire people you know extremely well and are comfortable with,” Hinson said. “He has coached at all levels, all the way up to the high-major level, and is known as a relentless recruiter and a high-energy coach. We welcome him to the Saluki family.”

Last season, the Rainbows recorded 22 wins — their highest win total in 12 years — and lost to UC-Irvine in the championship game of the Big West Tournament.

While Autry was at Marquette, the program averaged 23 wins per year, made five-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (2009-13) and advanced to the Elite Eight in 2013. The Golden Eagles produced eight NBA players during Autry’s tenure and had three Top 20 recruiting classes, according to ESPN.

“I’ve been fortunate to work in every position possible on a staff from the most menial to the most visible,” Autry said. “I don’t worry about whether I am coaching guards or forwards or bigs. I find a way to fit in to what is needed the most on the staff and that’s what I embrace. I specialize in winning. I don’t say that arrogantly, I know that every team has a different formula for how that is going to happen and finding that formula is the most important part of our jobs on the court.”

Autry played collegiately at Northwestern Oklahoma State, where he was an All-Conference performer and was named the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1990. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he earned his master’s degree in education, and was part of a Lone Star Conference championship and the NCAA Division II national tournament in 1993.

His first Division I coaching opportunity led Autry to Baylor University (1995-99), where he served as an assistant coach for five seasons under Harry Miller. While at Baylor, Autry helped mentor 1998 NBA first-round pick Brian Skinner. Autry joined Bill Self’s staff at Tulsa (2000) as the program’s administrative assistant during a season in which the team won a school-record 32 games, advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight and climbed to a No. 9 national ranking.

Autry’s next Division I stop was at UALR (2004-07), where he spent four seasons under Steve Shields. The program captured back-to-back divisional titles (2004, 2005) in the Sun Belt Conference for the first time in school history. After coaching one year at Dekaney High School in Texas (2008), Autry was name the coordinator of student-athlete development at Marquette (2009-12).

“During my career I have been part of a tremendous amount of winning and, unfortunately, some losing and I’ve learned a great deal about finding a way to win, as opposed to the other way around,” Autry said. “My background is very complementary to the way Coach Hinson goes about his business. He is a tremendous coach and person and I don’t think there’s a better fit in the country with our coaching styles.”

Autry has witnessed Saluki basketball firsthand as a member of the UALR staff when Southern Illinois beat the Trojans, 67-42, on Dec. 22, 2005. That game was a key factor in his decision to join the Salukis nearly 10 years later.

“I remember coming out of SIU Arena thinking this place is in love with this program,” Autry recalled. “The support and passion people have for Saluki Basketball is something that attracted me to this job. At this point in my career, I only want to be at jobs where I am working with good people and what we do is important to people.”

Throughout his college career, Autry has coached 10 future NBA players, including three first-round draft picks, and has been a part of five conference championships.

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