Mizzou Men’s Basketball head coach Cuonzo Martin announced additions to his coaching staff on Wednesday, April 5, with more than 30 years of Division I coaching experience represented between the trio of new Tiger assistant coaches.
Chris Hollender, Cornell Mann and Michael Porter, Sr., have been selected by Martin to assist him in coaching the Black & Gold, starting with the 2017-18 season. Hollender, most recently in the same role at UMKC, spent three seasons coaching in the Southeastern Conference at Mississippi State from 2012-15. Previously at Iowa State from 2011-15, Mann was on staff at Oakland for the 2016-17 campaign. A familiar face to Mizzou Athletics, Porter spent the 2016-17 season coaching at Washington.
“It’s exciting to get this staff officially announced, because it’s time to get to work,” Martin said. “Each of these coaches help us get better from a basketball standpoint, on the recruiting trail and as a family. I’m looking forward to our Mizzou fans getting to know these three outstanding coaches. All three of them have unique coaching backgrounds, teachings, life lessons and upbringings that will form a balanced staff for our Mizzou Basketball program. Chris, Cornell and Mike each bring energy and passion for basketball, but most importantly, they will be incredible mentors to our student-athletes.”
Hollender brings strong Midwest ties and SEC experience to Martin’s staff, as the Mattoon, Illinois, native starred as a player at Evansville before embarking on his coaching career that landed him stops at Army (2002-09), his alma mater (2009-12), Mississippi State (2012-15) and UMKC (2015-17). At UMKC this past season, the Roos recorded the second-most wins (18) in school history.
During Hollender’s tenures at Army, Evansville, Mississippi State and UMKC, each basketball program saw a significant improvement in performance on the court and on the recruiting trail. The 2006-07 Black Knights improved by an astounding 10 wins to a 15-16 record. Hollender’s final class he helped recruit to Evansville went on to claim 84 victories over their career. At Mississippi State, Hollender’s work included developing All-SEC forward Gavin Ware, who became one of only seven players in MSU history to score at least 1,000 points and grab 800 or more rebounds.
Hollender was an all-conference player for the Purple Aces in 1998 before turning professional, enjoying a stint in Europe with Bremerhaven of Germany. He then returned to the United States to play in the CBA from 1999-2002 before beginning his coaching career.
Hollender earned a degree in marketing from Evansville in 1998. He and his wife, Kathryn, have a son, Jackson, and twin daughters, Madeline and Elyse.
Mann was part of an outstanding run of success at Iowa State from 2011-15, with his tenure coinciding with four consecutive NCAA Tournament selections. The Royal Oak Township, Michigan, native recruited and tutored one of the top point guards in college basketball in Flint, Michigan, native Monte Morris, who finished his ISU career with the best assist-to-turnover ratio in NCAA history (4.65-1).
Bringing NCAA Tournament coaching experience to Martin’s staff from four different basketball programs, Mann was on staff at Dayton (2008-11) for three-straight postseason berths. In his first season with the Flyers, Mann helped coach Dayton to the second-most wins in school history (27) and a second round NCAA Tournament appearance.
Prior to Dayton, Mann served stints on coaching staffs at Western Michigan (2003-08) and Central Michigan (2001-03), with the Broncos making a Big Dance appearance in 2004 and the Chippewas advancing to the tournament in 2003, respectively.
Mann earned a degree in family development from Akron in 1995, playing his final three seasons of eligibility for the Zips after starting his collegiate career at Colorado. Mann has two children, a daughter, Cyncere, and a son, Maliq.
No stranger to Columbia and Mizzou Arena, Porter rejoins the Mizzou family after an assistant coaching stop at Washington for the 2016-17 season. Experienced on the recruiting trail and well-versed on the travel ball circuit, Porter spent the previous six years before coaching the Huskies on Robin Pingeton‘s women’s basketball coaching staff, serving his last three seasons as an assistant coach.
Under Porter’s watch, the Tigers improved their win total each season, culminating in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2000-01 season in his final campaign on staff in 2015-16. The Black & Gold also benefited from Porter’s previous three seasons as Mizzou’s Director of Operations (2011-13), as practices and individual workouts were organized and structured by Porter.
A major part of Porter’s basketball experience comes from service to others. Porter served as head coach of Upward Basketball from 2003-06. With the Upward Sports league, Porter worked with young athletes to not only develop basketball skills, but also skills needed to build stronger character and confidence. Porter also played professionally for five seasons with Athletes in Action (AIA), competing around the country and world and spreading spiritual guidance.
Porter graduated from the University of New Orleans in 1989, where he was a four-year member of the basketball team. He and his wife, Lisa, have eight children, Bri, Cierra, Michael, Jr., Jontay, Coban, Jevon, Izaak and Jayda. Bri and Cierra are teammates on the Mizzou women’s basketball team.
All hires are official pending the completion of the University hiring process.
For all the latest on Mizzou Men’s Basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team at @MizzouHoops (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).
Statement from new Mizzou assistant coach Chris Hollender
“I have always had great respect and admiration for the University of Missouri and Mizzou’s basketball program. From the outside, you immediately notice the passion coming from the Mizzou fan base. Now I am thrilled to be a part of that passion on a daily basis. My family and I are extremely excited to join Cuonzo Martin and his staff and immerse ourselves in the Columbia community.
“Coach Martin and I have known each other for many years. He is a man of great character and is one of the most forward-thinking minds in college basketball. I have coached against him in two separate leagues, including the Southeastern Conference. The SEC is a tremendous basketball league with storied tradition. I am extremely excited to once again coach in one of the best basketball conferences in the nation alongside Coach Martin. His teams have always embodied ultimate toughness and competitiveness, which I have respected. I am humbled and honored to join him at Mizzou.”
Statement from new Mizzou assistant coach Cornell Mann
“One word. Excited. To have the opportunity to coach at Missouri is very special, especially for someone like me who grew up watching a lot of Big Eight basketball. I started my career out at Colorado, so I was always following Mizzou growing up. The number of players from my home state of Michigan to play at Mizzou over the years is significant to me. Those teams under Norm Stewart were so good and fun to watch.
“Most of all, I’m excited to work with Cuonzo Martin. He is as good as they get in this business. He’s a sharp man, a great father and mentor. We’re the same age, but he has even been a mentor to me. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead at Mizzou. It’s exciting to come into a program at this type of juncture with so many possibilities ahead. We’re all ready to hit the ground running and get to work.”
Statement from new Mizzou assistant coach Michael Porter, Sr.
“I am beyond blessed and excited to be returning to Columbia as part of Cuonzo Martin‘s staff, especially with my family who love Columbia as much as I do. I respect Coach Martin immensely. He is a good, honest man, and a great example of a coach who demands a lot from his players without stealing confidence.
“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to once again coach the Tigers. Now the fun begins. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and, along with the rest of the staff, get this thing going again.”