Brian Eskildsen, who helped Harvard to three Ivy League championships, a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2015 and NIT berths in 2018 and 2019, has been appointed to join Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball staff as assistant coach, head coach Josh Pastner announced.
A 12-year veteran in Division I basketball, Eskildsen has spent his entire career working at high-level academic institutions that enjoyed success, including Rice and Stanford before landing at Harvard.
Eskildsen, 34, spent eight seasons at the Ivy League institution under head coach Tommy Amaker, helping the Crimson capture conference championships in 2015, 2018 and 2019. Harvard was in position to win another Ancient Eight title and a potential NCAA Tournament bid in 2020, compiling a 21-8 record and a runner-up finish in the Ivy regular season before COVID-19 abruptly ended that season.
“I’m thrilled to have Brian Eskildsen be a part of our staff at Georgia Tech,” said Pastner. “He’s an excellent coach and teacher with a long record of success, and he’s succeeded at recruiting high-achieving basketball student-athletes at three highly-regarded academic institutions. He’ll be an excellent fit at Georgia Tech.”
During his time in Cambridge, eight Harvard players earned All-Ivy League recognition, three of them more than once, and the Crimson scored power conference wins over Auburn, Brigham Young, California, Georgetown and Texas A&M. Harvard averaged nearly 18 wins per season (not counting the cancelled 2020-21 season), winning 18 or more games five times and winning 10 or more Ivy games five times.
“I’m extremely honored to join head coach Josh Pastner’s staff and the men’s basketball program at Georgia Tech,” said Eskildsen. “Growing up in ACC country, I’ve long admired the tradition and success of Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on the basketball court. Georgia Tech is one of the premier academic institutions in the country, located in one of the best cities in the world, and competes in the best college basketball conference in the NCAA. That combination, when you add in Coach Pastner and the rest of his staff, is truly as good as it gets. I’m ecstatic to get to serve this storied program, as well as support an impressive group of student-athletes we have here at Georgia Tech.”
Eskildsen arrived in Cambridge after spending the 2013-14 season with the Rice Owls as an assistant coach to head coach Ben Braun. While at Rice, Eskildsen served as the team’s recruiting coordinator and was in charge of opponent scouting. Eskildsen worked directly with the Owls’ post players on the court, and was also responsible for game scheduling.
Prior to his time in Houston, Eskildsen spent three seasons at Stanford working under head coach Johnny Dawkins, a former teammate of Amaker’s at Duke. As the Cardinal’s recruiting and video coordinator, Eskildsen was responsible for assisting in all facets of the recruiting process, including managing the program’s recruiting database. Additionally, Eskildsen assisted with scouting video and film exchange.
Stanford claimed the 2012 National Invitational Tournament title with Eskildsen on staff, and returned to the NIT in 2013. Stanford went 60-42 overall during Eskildsen’s time in Palo Alto, placed seven individuals on the All-Pac-12 teams and had 18 individuals earn recognition on the Pac-12 All-Academic teams.
Eskildsen began his coaching career in 2009-10 as the director of operations for the University of New Orleans. He attended Tennessee as an undergraduate and served as a program assistant and scout team player for the Lady Vols under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame head coach Pat Summitt. While at Tennessee, he was a member of two national championship teams before earning his bachelor’s degree in sports management in 2009.
A native of Fairfax, Va., Eskildsen is an alum of W.T. Woodson High School, the same high school Amaker attended. He and his wife Natalie have a daughter, Penny.