Elmhurst U. Men’s Basketball Staff Update

Elmhurst University Men’s Basketball Coach John Baines has announced the additions of John Cheng and Tyler Pierce to the Bluejays’ coaching staff. Both will be serving as volunteer assistant coaches for the 2020-21 season. 

A graduate of Denison University, Cheng comes to Elmhurst after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Chicago. The Maroons posted a 27-23 in the two seasons that Cheng served as an assistant. He also spent two years as a trainer and coach for Breakaway Basketball in Westmont where he trained youth and high school players while also coaching an AAU team.

Cheng attended High School at Elmhurst’s Immaculate Conception and was a four-year member of Denison’s basketball team, serving as the team’s captain during his senior season. He was a part of a team that captured the 2016 North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. 

“John is an absolute perfect fit for our EU staff,” said Baines. “He has played Division III basketball under a veteran coach, been coaching collegiately in a well-respected program, and has direct ties to the Elmhurst community. He is an extremely bright, hard-working, and driven young coach. We are unbelievably fortunate to gain someone with his pedigree during such an unusual time. I’m ecstatic.”

Pierce comes to Elmhurst after spending the past three seasons as the head assistant varsity coach at Westmont High School. He helped the team increase its win total by 10 games from one season to the next. In addition, he currently serves as a junior trainer at M14 Hoops in Naperville, working with the 13-15U squad. 

Pierce is no stranger to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin having played for Carthage College from 2010-13. Pierce started 100 games for the Red Men and was a two-time third-team All-CCIW selection. He finished his career with 1,019 points, then ranking in the top-25 in Carthage history. 

“Anyone who spends time with Tyler immediately falls in love with his personality,” said Baines. “In addition to his coaching ability on the court, Tyler has got a great vibe and the players are going to love being coached by him. His background of being an all-CCIW player, having a successful run as a high school coach, and his desire to take the next step in his career all lend itself to being a wonderful addition to our staff.”

Elmhurst was ranked fifth in the Basketball Times‘ Division III Preseason Poll. 


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