Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Wednesday two assistant coaches for the program with the hiring of Orlando Antigua and retention of Jamall Walker. Strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher also will remain with the Illini, and two support staff roles have been filled with the additions of Joey Biggs as director of operations and Patrick Schulte as video coordinator.
Orlando Antigua – Assistant Coach
Antigua arrives at Illinois following two and a half seasons as head coach at South Florida. He also served as head coach of the Dominican Republic men’s national team from 2013-15. During that stint in 2014, the Dominican Republic advanced to the bracket round of the FIBA World Cup for the first time in the country’s history.
Antigua earned the head position at South Florida after serving as an assistant for John Calipari for six seasons. He spent the 2008-09 season at Memphis before joining Calipari at Kentucky for five years from 2009-14. Named the top assistant coach in the country under 40 by ESPN.com in 2012, Antigua helped assemble five straight No. 1-ranked recruiting classes during his time at UK. The Wildcats compiled a 152-37 record during his tenure, highlighted by three Final Four appearances and culminating in the 2012 NCAA Championship.
Prior to joining Calipari at Memphis, Antigua spent five seasons at his alma mater, Pittsburgh. He was part of then-head coach Jamie Dixon’s staff, three as director of basketball operations (2003-06) and two as assistant coach (2006-08) while Pitt compiled a 132-40 record.
“Orlando has one of the top pedigrees in college basketball, from his days as a player and throughout his coaching career,” Underwood said. “He was an integral part of the success at Kentucky with Coach Calipari, recruiting and developing several outstanding players who went on to become high NBA draft picks. He will work with our bigs here and will do an outstanding job in their development as well. Orlando is a wonderful person of high character and will fit our Illini family perfectly.”
Antigua played at Pittsburgh from 1991-95, serving as two-time team captain. He won the USBWA’s Most Courageous Athlete in 1994, an honor that is presented annually to a player who displays courage on and off the court. After graduating from Pittsburgh in 1995, Antigua became the first player of Latin American descent to play for the famed Harlem Globetrotters, touring the world for seven years until 2002. The Globetrotters at that time were owned by Illinois alumnus and 2017 Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Mannie Jackson.
Jamall Walker – Assistant Coach
Walker has been a key member of the Illini staff the last five seasons since his arrival in April 2012. He played a lead role in helping the Illini sign a top 15-ranked recruiting class in 2017, in addition to nationally ranked classes in 2013 and 2015 as well. Along with his recruiting and scouting duties, Walker has worked with guards in Illinois’ player development program.
“Jamall and I go back a long way, I’ve known him since he was in high school,” Underwood said. “I’ve followed him throughout his coaching journey and am very familiar with his work ethic and his character. He has done a fabulous job throughout his time here at Illinois, including during the NIT while serving as interim head coach. Jamall is a top-flight recruiter and as a former point guard, will help our players grow at that position.”
Adam Fletcher – Strength and Conditioning Coach
Fletcher has been with the Illini for the last two seasons as strength and conditioning coach after arriving from Towson in August 2015.
“Adam is one of the top up-and-coming strength coaches in the country,” Underwood said. “The areas of strength and conditioning play a major role in our program. Coach ‘Fletch’ has done an outstanding job to date with the players here and I’m excited to have him continue with their development.”
Joey Biggs – Director of Operations
Biggs comes to Illinois after spending the last 15 years at Oklahoma State. He spent 11 years as assistant athletic director for basketball, overseeing travel, budget, scheduling, special events, alumni relations and operational functions. He will serve many of those same administrative duties for the Fighting Illini program.
“Joey is a tremendous administrator and someone who excels in the many different hats you have to wear in that role,” Underwood said. “He was a great asset to every head coach he worked for at Oklahoma State. He will be involved in all the organizational duties of running our day-to-day program and will take the lead on game scheduling as well.”
Patrick Schulte – Video Coordinator
Schulte served as video coordinator for Underwood last year at Oklahoma State as well as his first two seasons at Stephen F. Austin. In between SFA and OSU, he spent the 2015-16 season as director of video for coach Frank Martin at South Carolina. Schulte arrived at Stephen F. after serving as student manager at Kansas State for three seasons. Prior to transferring to K-State, Schulte played one season of basketball at Cloud County Community College.
“Patrick has been with me a long time, going back to his days as a manager at K-State,” Underwood said. “He has a high basketball IQ, is gifted with technology, and knowledgeable in all facets of video editing and analysis.”