Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris announced three new members to his first staff. It includes completing his on-court staff with Ohio University assistant Aaron Fuss being offered and accepting the position.
Fuss spent nine seasons with the Bobcats. He started as the director of basketball operations before ascending to assistant coach in 2012. He worked with three head coaches – John Groce (2009-12), Jim Christian (2013-14) and Saul Phillips (2015-17) – over that stretch with unprecedented success as part of the equation.
During his tenure, the Bobcats reached the postseason six times with two NCAA Tournament appearances going 3-2 in those dance incursions. The 2010 team toppled Georgetown before falling to Tennessee during its Elite 8 run.
They made it back to the tournament in 2012 beating Michigan and South Florida prior to an overtime loss to North Carolina in the Sweet 16. He’s reunited on the Mocs staff with a key player from that run, fellow assistant Walter Offutt who earned All-East Regional Tournament team honors for his play.
The Bobcats won 20 or more games five times including a school-record 29 in 2012. They captured two MAC titles along the way in a league that saw just five teams win the title over that stretch: Akron (3), Ohio (2), Buffalo (2), Kent State (1) and Western Michigan (1). Ohio won 60.5 percent (167-109) of its games since Fuss’ arrival in 2008.
He began his career at Ohio State as a student manager. Upon graduation in 2005, Thad Matta elevated Fuss to graduate manager. The Buckeyes tallied a 61-10 mark in his two seasons in that role winning the Big Ten both campaigns en route the 2007 NCAA National Championship game losing to Florida.
Paris on Fuss:
“Great feeling to get all three guys into the fold and getting ready to charge forward at full strength. Aaron’s been around great coaches and been around the game for a long time. He’s very highly respected in the profession. His character and work ethic are tremendous. I felt like his ability to immediately interact with the guys on staff was a big factor. Very excited to have him join the staff.”
Paris also added to the support staff hiring Roman DiPasquale (video coordinator) and Tyler Dobratz (athletic performance) with the latter coming in conjunction with Director of Athletic Performance Chad Pearson.
Dipasquale comes to Gig City from Stanford where he served in the same role the past two seasons. He’s also worked at the University of Portland (director of basketball technology) and with the Philadelphia 76ers (assistant video coordinator) since graduating from Wisconsin in 2011.
Paris on DiPasquale:
“Roman has a lot of experience. He’s worked with a lot of different systems. He’s a quick learner. Our relationship from when he was at the University of Wisconsin was big in bringing this about. He’s very experienced for the position…just a do-anything type of guy. He’ll be in the role of video coordinator, but he’ll have his hands in a lot of areas for us.”
Dobratz was most recently at Ohio University in strength and conditioning. He assisted with the football, men’s basketball and volleyball programs while overseeing efforts in women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s golf and hockey. He’s also worked as head strength and conditioning coach at Lake Superior State and served as an intern at Wisconsin.
Paris on Dobratz:
“This is an extremely important position and the timing of it was imperative to move quickly on it with our guys returning to campus in June. Very important to get it right also which we did. Having a guy that is familiar with the way we want to do things. Erik Helland is one of the absolute best strength & conditioning coaches advising basketball players. He essentially started the NBA combine in Chicago. My experience with him means having someone mentored by him was very attractive.”