Elmhurst University head men’s basketball coach John Baines announced his coaching staff for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Peyton Wyatt has been elevated to the position of Associate Head Coach. A four-year member of the Bluejays’ basketball team from 2012-2016, Wyatt spent the 2016-17 season as a graduate assistant coach at Anderson University before joining the Bluejays’ staff in the 2017-18 season.
“There isn’t one person more influential in our program’s success than Peyton Wyatt. He’s been involved with Bluejay basketball as a player, graduate assistant, and assistant coach for 11 of the last 12 years. To say he’s left his mark would be a gross understatement; we wouldn’t be where we are without him,” Baines said of Wyatt. “Peyton’s promotion to Associate Head Coach is a reflection on his unbelievable growth as a coach and his commitment to our Bluejay Way. He has become an incredible father and husband while managing the rigors of being an elite college assistant. I’m appreciative of our time together and am ecstatic Peyton is recognized for the effort he has delivered.”
Joining the Bluejay men’s basketball staff is Melissa Schwab, who had spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at Elmhurst. Schwab also serves as the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Elmhurst and the department’s Student-Athlete Success Coach. Her background in the game of basketball includes a four-year career at Concordia University-Chicago from 2007-11, and serving as the head girls basketball coach at St. Francis College Prep in Wheaton from 2015-18. Schwab is the first woman to coach a men’s basketball program in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
“Adding Melissa to our staff is groundbreaking for Elmhurst. She is the first woman coach on the men’s side in the CCIW and she deserves it,” Baines said of Schwab. “In the time I’ve known Melissa, she has revealed ability, passion, and all the traits of a fantastic team player. She has become a trailblazer, and our program is the direct beneficiary of her posture.”
Reece Taylor rejoins the Bluejays in the 2023-24 season, this time as an assistant coach after playing on the court for the Bluejays for the past two seasons. Taylor began his collegiate playing career at Lake Forest College in 2019-20 before transferring to Elmhurst in 2021-22. In two seasons as a Bluejay, Taylor played in 41 games, starting six, averaging 7.4 minutes, 1.7 points, and 1.2 rebounds per game.
“Reece has played an integral role in developing our team environment as a player, and we’re blessed to have him now with a whistle,” Baines said of Taylor. “He knows the importance of what we do, and Reece is as solid a person as they come. He is all class.”
Nick Fertitta joins the Bluejays’ staff as a graduate assistant coach for the 2023-24 season. Fertitta graduated from the University of Virginia in May of 2023 with a B.A. in Economics and Psychology, and served as a manager for the Cavaliers’ women’s basketball team, eventually becoming head manager for the 2022-23 season. Nick has been heavily involved in grassroots basketball for the last two years while working at Hoop Group in East Stroudsburg, PA. Nick played an important role in the success of the company over the last two years by serving as the Housing Director and Staffing Director for summer camps. Additionally, Nick has worked the Jay Bilas Skills Camp for two years in Charlotte, NC.
“Nick brings a work ethic and drive that every boss is looking for when they hire a young coach. I met Nick while he was working at Jay Bilas Basketball Camp. His hunger and intellect struck me, and we knew we needed him on staff. Nick is an ideal addition to Elmhurst,” Baines said of Fertitta.
The 2023-24 Elmhurst men’s basketball season begins on Saturday, Nov. 11 when the Bluejays play host to Concordia University Chicago at 4:00 p.m. CT inside R.A. Faganel Hall.