New University at Buffalo Head Men’s Basketball Coach George Halcovage III has announced the first three members of his staff. Calvin Cage and Hamlet Tibbs will serves as assistant coaches, while Tim Saunders will assume the role of Director of Basketball Operations.
Cage comes from Canisius College where he spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach under former Buffalo Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon. The former UB guard will return to Alumni Arena as Head Coach George Halcovage III‘s first hire.
Cage joined the Golden Griffin staff prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign after a two-year stint as an assistant coach for the Team Takeover 17-U program, part of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL). There, he helped develop and lead skills-based practices, recruited new talent and helped plan travel and schedule logistics for the team. The founder and director of Cage Clinics in Washington, D.C., Cage spent the 2018-19 season as the head coach of the junior varsity program at Rock Creek Christian Academy in Upper Marlboro, Md.
“We’re excited to have Calvin Cage, a former UB Basketball great, join us on staff to help lead the next generation of Bulls,” stated Head Coach George Halcovage III. “Calvin is a talented coach and recruiter who has a tremendous work ethic. Welcome home Calvin! Horns up!”
A 2006 graduate of UB, Cage played 121 career games for the Bulls from 2002-06. He capped his collegiate career by earning All-MAC Second Team honors after he led the Bulls in scoring average with 18.5 points per contest in his senior campaign.
His 1,314 career points ranks him 14th in UB’s record book, and he also ranks fourth in career 3-point field goal makes with 221 to his credit. After graduating from Buffalo with his degree in social science, the Capitol Heights, Md., native enjoyed a 12-year professional career that saw him play in 12 different countries.
Tibbs, a 2007 graduate from West Virginia University brings many years of coaching experience to the Bulls with successful stints at Notre Dame, the University of Albany, University of Vermont, and The Albany Academy along with the AAU Albany Rocks program.
He spent the 2022-23 season as an assistant coach under Head Coach Mike Brey at Notre Dame.
Tibbs had a stellar seven-year run as an assistant coach at Vermont, as the Catamounts posted a 166-61 overall record during that time. More impressively, Vermont went 92-18 in the America East, winning the regular season title four times, while claiming the conference tournament championship three times.
Notable highlights include the 2019-20 squad, who earned a record-setting eighth America East Championship, breaking a tie with Northeastern for the most in league history. Vermont ranked in the top five nationally in scoring defense (59.5 ppg allowed) and field-goal percentage defense (38.0%) that year. In addition, the 2016-17 squad made history, as Vermont set a program and America East record with 29 wins, which included a perfect 16-0 mark in league play.
In all, Tibbs coached four America East Players of the Year, one Rookie of the Year, two Defensive Players of the Year and a total of 20 all-conference selections.
“We are fired up to have Hamlet Tibbs and his wife, Amanda, join our UB basketball family,” stated Head Coach George Halcovage III. “Hamlet is an accomplished recruiter and coach whose resume speaks for itself. Welcome back home to New York, Coach Tibbs!”
Tibbs’ coaching journey began at West Virginia, where he was drawn by the major of athletic coaching education while also working as a student manager with the men’s basketball program. The Mountaineers went to the Elite Eight in 2005 and Sweet 16 in 2006.
Prior to Vermont, Tibbs spent five seasons at both The Albany Academy and Albany City Rocks program. Fast forward to last season and Tibbs made the jump back home to be an assistant coach at the University of Albany, staying in the America East.
Saunders comes to Buffalo having spent the 2022-23 season as Villanova’s video coordinator. He replaced Matt Fraschilla who accepted an assistant coaching position at his alma mater Harvard University.
A native of Torrey Pines, Cal., Saunders played for former Wildcats standout player (1973-77) and assistant coach, John Olive, at Torrey Pines High School. After spending a season as a practice player, Saunders was a part of the BIG EAST championship teams in 2019 and 2020 as a Villanova undergraduate. He earned a marketing degree from the Villanova School of Business in May 2020.
“In my 6 years knowing Tim Saunders as a player and young coach at Villanova, he showed a great enthusiasm and knowledge for the game,” stated Head Coach George Halcovage III. “Tim is a rising star in this business, and we look forward to having him here in Buffalo.”
Following graduation, Saunders remained at Villanova as a graduate student, serving a variety of roles. He assisted Fraschilla in the video area during the 2021-22 season that saw Villanova return to the NCAA Final Four.