Brandin Knight, who spent the past 10 seasons courtside at Pittsburgh, including the last eight as assistant coach, has been named Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Rutgers University. A New Jersey native with a reputation as one of college basketball’s top young coaches, he advanced to 10 NCAA Tournaments as either a staffer (eight) or student-athlete (two) at Pitt, including four Sweet Sixteen appearances.
“I am thrilled to welcome Brandin to the Rutgers basketball family,” said head coach Steve Pikiell. “He is one of the premier young coaches in the country. Brandin has developed an excellent reputation as a high-level recruiter and a tremendous teacher of the game. He brings a passion and expertise in developing players that will be infectious to our program.”
“The opportunity to join a Big Ten staff in my home state under the leadership of Coach Pikiell is very exciting,’ said Knight. “I can’t wait to help bring winning back to Rutgers.”
Prior to being named assistant coach by Jamie Dixon in 2008, Knight served the 2007-08 and 2006-07 seasons as Director of Men’s Basketball Operations and Program Assistant/Video Coordinator, respectively. The Panthers compiled a 252-101 (.714) record and reached the postseason all 10 seasons with Knight on staff. Pitt won the 2008 Big East Championship, earned two NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds (2009 & 2011) and captured the 2011 Big East regular season title.
Knight was instrumental in the development of All-America selection Sam Young, along with all-league guards Levance Fields, Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall.
A point guard from 1999-2003, Knight’s leadership was instrumental in Pitt’s basketball renaissance. He helped lead the Panthers to consecutive Big East regular season titles (2001-02 and 2002-03), two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (2002 and 2003), the program’s first Big East Tournament title (2003), three consecutive appearances in the Big East Tournament final (2001, 2002, and 2003) and an 89-40 (.690) four-year record.
A 2003 Wooden All-American, 2002 Associated Press All-American and two-time All-Big East honoree, Knight concluded his career with 1,440 points, 785 assists, 492 rebounds and 298 steals. He earned the Big East’s co-Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player awards in 2001-02. Knight still holds school records for career assists (785), career assist average (6.2), career steals (298), career 3-point field goal attempts (261), season minutes played (1,284 in 2001-02) and consecutive games played with at least one assist (91 from 2000-03).
Knight’s No. 20 jersey was retired by the Panthers on March 4, 2009.
Following his collegiate career, Knight played two seasons with the NBDL’s Asheville Altitude. He helped lead the Altitude to back-to-back league titles in both 2003-04 and 2004-05. In 2005, he signed a contract with the Houston Rockets, but suffered a knee injury. Knight spent the following two years in Pittsburgh rehabbing the injury. During that span, he became involved with coaching. He directed several AAU teams, including a squad that captured the Under-16 Pittsburgh Jamfest title in 2006.
An East Orange native, Knight’s brother Brevin was a 12-year NBA veteran and a consensus All-America point guard at Stanford (1994-97). The Knights represent one of only eight brother combinations in NCAA Division I history to earn All-America honors. His father Melvin, a former Seton Hall assistant basketball coach (1978-82) and player (1968-71), serves as the athletic director at Essex County College (N.J.).
Knight graduated with a History degree from Pitt in June, 2005. He and wife Michelle are proud parents of two children, daughter Kylah and son Brandin.
Photo Courtesy Rutgers Athletics