Joe Esposito has been added to the UNLV men’s basketball staff as special assistant to the head coach, Runnin’ Rebel head coach Marvin Menzies announced Friday.
Esposito comes to Las Vegas after spending the last 11 years working under Hall of Famer Tubby Smith as an assistant coach at Minnesota, Texas Tech and Memphis.
“Joe brings a wealth of experience to our program,” Menzies said. “He will oversee several components of our operation – areas that are vital to our overall continued growth. I have a long-standing relationship with Joe and I’m confident that his background and knowledge will enhance an already excellent staff.”
Esposito possesses three decades of coaching experience, including 28 at the collegiate level. While at Memphis, he played an integral part in signing the top recruiting class (2017-18) in the American Athletic Conference. The Tigers averaged 20 wins per season during his two seasons there and advanced to the semifinals of the AAC Tournament in March.
“My family and I are very excited and grateful to join the Rebel family,” Esposito said. “UNLV has an impeccable reputation for success and I will do whatever is needed to uphold that. My dream job has always been UNLV and I want to thank Coach Menzies for his faith in me. He has the program headed in the right direction and it is truly an honor to now be a part of Rebel Nation.”
Prior to Memphis, Esposito spent three years as an assistant coach at Texas Tech, where his responsibilities included player development, scouting and recruiting. He helped the Red Raiders attract its best recruiting classes in more than a decade, which helped propel the team to the 2016 NCAA Tournament. At Minnesota with Esposito on the staff, the Gophers advanced to the postseason five times, including three NCAA Tournament appearances (2009, 2010, 2013) and two NIT invites (2008, 2012). In 2013, Minnesota recorded its first NCAA Tournament victory in 13 years and in 2012 the team advanced to the NIT championship game.
Esposito was also a head coach at Angelo State for eight seasons. He left as the winningest coach by percentage in school history. He has also spent time working at Tennessee State, Assumption College, Marist College, Villages Charter High School in Florida and Roosevelt High School in New York.
A native of The Bronx, New York, Esposito earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science form Marist College in 1988, and a master’s of science degree in sports administration and coaching from the United States Sports Academy in 1990, where he earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, Jordan and Jacob, along with two daughters, Shay and Harmony.
At UNLV, Esposito is replacing the program’s former special assistant to the head coach, Keith Brown, who left to become an assistant coach at Fresno State.