Columbia Staff Update

Columbia University men’s basketball coach Jim Engles has rounded out his staff with the hiring of Jean Bain and Jared Czech as assistant coaches and the appointment of Jonathan Safir as director of basketball operations.

“I’m very excited to have these guys on my staff,” Engles said. “They bring great experience, energy and passion to the table and are the right people to help lead Columbia basketball to new heights.”

Bain comes to Morningside Heights after a four-year stint as Dartmouth’s associate head coach. With the Big Green, Bain was responsible for recruiting and developing post players, which included two-time All-Ivy League selection Gabas Maldunas.

Dartmouth increased its win total in each of Bain’s first three seasons and helped the Big Green reach the 2015 Tournament, the team’s first postseason berth in 56 years. Also, that season, one of Bain’s recruits, Miles Wright, earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.

Before Dartmouth, Bain spent six seasons at the University of New Hampshire and began his coaching career at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2004-05.

A 2002 graduate of Northeastern University, Bain was a standout player during his four years. He was chosen as the America East Rookie of the Year in 1999, then went on to be a two-time captain. In his senior campaign, he earned all-conference honors and was selected as the team MVP.

Czech served as Engles’ director of operations at NJIT during the 2014-15 season before being named Director of Hoop Group Elite, the world’s largest basketball instructional organization, last year.

Czech was on Joe Scott’s staff during the 2013-14 season as a graduate manager at the University of Denver. First involved with coaching when he was a high school student at Rutgers Prep, Czech entered college coaching as a student assistant at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

He also coached AAU basketball with the NYC Gauchos, an organization that has countless alumni who went on to play college basketball and some who have gone on to play in the NBA, including Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After spending last season as a graduate manager for the Lions, Safir has been elevated to director of basketball operations.

A four-year letter winner at Vassar College, Safir helped lead the team to 19 wins and the first conference championship tournament appearance in school history in 2013-14.  During his collegiate offseasons, he was the Head Recruiting Coordinator for Hoop Group Elite and worked for the Empire Basketball Club as an assistant coach.

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