First-year ETSU men’s basketball head coach Desmond Oliver announced on Monday the hiring of his entire coaching staff. Patrice Days, Mark Bialkoski and Mantoris Robinson have been named assistant coaches, while Oliver named Lucas Campbell the Director of Basketball Operations and Sunny Park the Director of Basketball Sport Performance.
“I’m very excited to finally have all of my staff on board,” said Oliver. “When I set out to hire this staff, I wanted to find guys that had the ability to recruit, develop and teach at the highest level. We talk about wanting our players walking into opposing team’s arenas and looking like a Power-5 team physically. I’m blessed to say we have a Power-5 coaching staff! We have experienced guys with the highest character who are connected and committed to player development on and off the court.”
ABOUT COACH DAYS
Coach Days has 12 years coaching experience, including the last eight at the NCAA Division I level. He comes to Johnson City after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach under Cliff Ellis at Coastal Carolina.
“Patrice is one of the brightest up-and-coming coaches in the business, and has gained experience working for some of the most well-respected coaches in the country,” said Oliver. “He possesses a contagious personality that will fit well with our staff and players.”
Days is excited to reunite with Coach Oliver and be part of a tradition-rich program.
“I’m very excited to be a Buccaneer,” said Days. “This place has tradition and a winning spirit when you touch campus – it’s definitely a blessing. Words can’t decide how happy I am to get to work for Coach Oliver again. He’s been a mentor of mine for years and someone I admire and believe in. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work!”
In his four years in Conway, S.C., Days helped lead the Chanticleers to a pair of postseason berths, including a trip to the 2021 CBI Championship game after finishing with an 18-8 record. This year, Days saw DeVante’ Jones, a 1,000-point scorer, earn Sun Belt Player of the Year honors, as well as being named a finalist for the Lou Henson Player of the Year award.
During his four-year stint with CCU, Days saw the Chanticleers become one of the top rebounding and defensive teams in the country.
In his first season (2017-18), CCU ranked 16th nationally in field goal percentage defense (40.5), 25th in rebound margin (5.8), 29th in rebounds per game (38.8) and 40th in offensive rebounds per game (12.1). The trend continued under Days’ watch as the Chanticleers ranked sixth in the country in multiple rebounding categories following the 2019-20 campaign, in which CCU also defeated Utah in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. As a team, CCU ranked sixth in total rebounds (1,329), eighth in offensive rebounds per game (13.4), 12th rebounds per game (40.3), 26th rebound margin (6.1) and 43rd in total steals (248).
This past season, the Chanticleers ranked second in rebounds per game (43.5), third in rebound margin (9.9), fourth in defensive rebounds per game (29.9), sixth in offensive rebounds per game (13.5), seventh in field goal percentage defense (39.0), 17th in total rebounds (1130) and 28th in steals per game (8.2).
Prior to arriving at Coastal Carolina, Days spent one season each at Southern Utah (2016-17) and Wright State (2015-16). At Wright State, Days played an integral role in several aspects of the program, including player development, daily practice routines, scouting, and recruiting. He was also an academic coach for the student-athletes.
Days got his first Division I assistant coaching job at Abilene Christian where he spent the two seasons as the Wildcats’ recruiting coordinator from 2013-15.
In 2012-13, Days was an assistant coach at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, Florida, under legendary prep coach Rex Morgan. Days coached Country Day – one of the top prep schools in the country – to an overall record of 30-4.
Prior to his time at Country Day, Days spent the 2011-12 season as an assistant coach at Vermont Academy and before that (2010-11) he was the director of player development at Charlotte – where Coach Oliver was an assistant – and before that (2009-10) he was a graduate assistant at his alma mater, New Orleans.
As a player, Days played at Piney Woods High School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, where he averaged nine points and six rebounds per game as a senior in 2001-02. He spent a year at Southern (LA) University before an injury forced him to miss the rest of the season. He went on to play one season (2006-07) at Caldwell (NC) Community College before returning to Louisiana. He graduated from New Orleans in 2010 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies with a double minor in business and education.
ABOUT COACH BAILKOSKI
Coach Bailkoski comes to ETSU after spending the last six seasons at Maryland, the last three as the Terrapins’ Director of Basketball Operations. Prior to being elevated in 2018, Bailkoski was the team’s video coordinator from 2015-18.
“Mark is an relentless competitor that does an exceptional job building strong relationships with student-athletes,” said Oliver. “He has a tremendous passion for teaching the game and will be a valuable asset to our program here at ETSU.”
Coach Bailkoski is ready for this next step in his career as he joins Coach Oliver’s staff.
“My family and I are thrilled to be coming to Johnson City,” said Bailkoski. “We are extremely grateful to Coach Oliver for the opportunity. Coach’s family values, his leadership, and vision for the program are all qualities we value most. We are excited to be a Buccaneer family and are committed to serving the student-athletes here at ETSU.”
During his six-year tenure at Maryland, Bailkoski saw the Terrapins generate a 134-63 record (.680), while making four NCAA Tournament appearances (five if including the 2019-20 season). Maryland won the 2020 Big Ten Championship and was ranked 12th in the final AP Top 25 Poll. In Bailkoski’s first season in College Park, Maryland reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003 and finished No. 12 nationally after winning 27 games – the fourth-most in program history.
Prior to his run at Maryland, Bailkoski spent six seasons (2009-15) with the Charlotte 49er men’s basketball program, five of which were with Coach Oliver. Bailkoski was the program’s Director of Basketball operations from 2012-15 and he started as a program assistant/graduate manager from 2009-12.
In his three seasons on the staff, the 49ers captured the Great Alaska Shootout and Puerto Rico Tip-Off titles and reached the Charleston Classic championship game. The 49ers defeated No. 10 Butler on the road as well in 2013. The 49ers won 52 games, including a 21-win season in 2013, marking the program’s first 20 wins season since 2007-08. With another winning season in 2014, the 49ers posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2007. Charlotte made its first postseason tournament appearance since 2008 with an NIT appearance in 2013.
During the 2012-13 season, Bialkoski played a major role in helping set up the first annual Military Appreciation game (the Georgia Southern game) where the 49ers were able to raise over $600 for military personnel.
As Director of Operations, Bialkoski helped with team travel, budgeting, scheduling and academic support as well as helping run the Alan Major Basketball Camps. In the fall of 2013, the Niners men’s basketball team achieved its highest semester grade point average in program history.
While as a program assistant and graduate manager at Charlotte, Bialkoski did advance opponents scouting, assisted in scheduling, and managed all video related tasks for the coaching staff in addition to designing and developing the first Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball newsletter. Bialkoski facilitated all pre- and post-game practice set-up, created recruiting mail-outs and was a key resource to all basketball operational functions.
Bailkoski has ties to the Southern Conference as he received a Bachelor’s of Science with a major in Exercise Science from Georgia Southern in 2008. During his time with the Eagles, Bailkoski was the head manager of the men’s basketball program under head coach Jeff Price where Georgia Southern won the 2006 SoCon Championship.
ABOUT COACH ROBINSON
Robinson, a two-time Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year, has nine years experience coaching at the collegiate level. Robinson spent the last three seasons with Earl Grant at College of Charleston, while having a four-year stint at Appalachian State and two years at Fairmont State University in West Virginia.
“Mantoris will be a great asset to our university, program and our coaching staff,” said Oliver. “His championship pedigree as a player and coach brings 17 years of college basketball experience to Johnson City. He has established himself as a strong recruiter, specifically in the southeast, and has a unique rapport with players to help fuel their development and experiences as student-athletes. He is not only a rising star in our profession but will bring a tireless work ethic, selfless attitude, and a team-first approach to our ETSU family.”
“My family and I are excited to join the Buccaneer family,” said Robinson. “I want to thank Coach Oliver for this opportunity and look forward to being on his staff. We share the same vision and values and are ready to help the student-athletes grow both on and off the court.”
During his time at College of Charleston, the Cougars were one of the top teams nationally in fewest turnovers, ranking in the top 20 all three years. In his first year in Charleston, Robinson helped guide the Cougars to a 24-9 record and a 12-6 mark in CAA play. The Cougars advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 CAA Tournament, while also knocking off Memphis in the Advocare Invitational and defeated VCU on the road during regular season play. Overall, five Cougars earned all-CAA honors under Robinson’s watch, while two players received Student-Athlete of the Year accolades.
Robinson spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Appalachian State under head coach Jim Fox from 2014-18. Appalachian State transitioned from the Southern Conference to the Sun Belt in Robinson’s first season as he helped guide the Mountaineers to their first-ever Sun Belt Tournament win. Appalachian State had four all-Sun Belt selections during Robinson’s time in Boone.
Prior to his arrival in Boone, Robinson spent two seasons at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. During his time at Fairmont State, Robinson helped lead the Falcons to back-to-back 20-win seasons, including a 23-9 record and NCAA Division II Tournament appearance in 2012-13. In his two seasons at FSU, Robinson coached five all-conference selections.
Robinson played at Winthrop from 2006-10 where he helped guide the Eagles to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a first-round win over Notre Dame in 2007. Robinson played in 126 career games, totaling 755 points, 593 rebounds, 138 steals and 137 assists. The 6-foot-5 forward, was named MVP of the 2010 Big South Tournament.
As a prep star at Butler, he was an all-state and all-conference performer and helped lead his team to a 28-3 mark as a senior. He also played for one season at Fork Union Military Academy before beginning his collegiate career at Winthrop.
A native of Charlotte, Robinson graduated from Winthrop in 2010 with a degree in business and earned a master’s degree in business administration at Fairmont State in 2014. He is married to Ja’Lisa (née Bradshaw) Robinson and the couple has two children.
ABOUT COACH CAMPBELL
Lucas Campbell, a four-year member of the Tennessee men’s basketball team, spent the last two seasons a graduate manager with the Vols.
“I’ve worked with Lucas for the last six years. Over that time he’s shown me that he’s one of those blue collar and hardworking guys,” said Oliver. “He knows what I want to do here at ETSU and he knows the standard I intend to set.”
Campbell is ready to bring championships back to ETSU and be a part of Coach Oliver’s staff.
“I’m excited to be a Buccaneer,” said Campbell. “I’m an East Tennessee native, so this opportunity is perfect. As a staff we’re ready to get to work and get ETSU back to winning championships.”
As a player, Campbell saw minutes in 16 games, while being a member of the 2018 SEC Championship team that went 26-9 overall and 13-5 in conference play en route to finishing 13th in the final AP Poll. Campbell played on back-to-back NCAA Tournament teams, including the 2018-19 squad that went 31-6 and advanced to the Sweet 16.
During his time as a graduate assistant, Campbell assisted in film and scout breakdown. Campbell has also played and worked with multiple NBA Draft picks and prospects during his time at Tennessee.
The Knoxville native graduated with a degree in Supply Chain Management and a collateral in Marketing in 2019. Campbell is set to graduate with a Master’s in Sport Management from Tennessee in May.
ABOUT SUNNY PARK
Sunny Park joins Coach Desmond Oliver’s staff at East Tennessee State University after having previously served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance at the University of Evansville since 2015. He was responsible for the design and implementation of the strength and conditioning program for men’s basketball, in addition to having direct oversight of all other sport teams at various times throughout his tenure.
“Sunny Park has a proven track record of successful basketball strength and conditioning experience, having previously worked at the collegiate, professional, and international level,” said Oliver. “He is a forward-thinking, progressive coach that relentlessly strives in the pursuit of the development of bigger, faster, and stronger athletes. His drive to continually learn and apply all things related to sport performance will enable our student-athletes to be placed in the best possible position to succeed. His passion and ability to connect with and motivate athletes will allow for the values and standards of our program’s culture to be implemented to the highest level.”
“I am incredibly honored and excited to work with Coach Oliver, the coaching staff, and the men’s basketball team at East Tennessee State University,” said Park. “Coach’s vision for the development of the student-athletes both on the court and off the court, and the role that the strength and conditioning coach will have in all aspects of the program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can’t wait to make the move to Johnson City and get to work!”
From 2012-2013, Park was the Athletic Performance Intern for the San Antonio Spurs. During that time he also oversaw the design and implementation of the athletic performance program for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League (now G League) and served as the Head Athletic Performance Coach for the Spurs 2013 Summer League team. Prior to that, he was a Graduate Strength and Conditioning Intern at the University of Texas where he assisted with men’s and women’s basketball from 2010-2012.
Park has also spent time as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for Canada Basketball’s Senior Men’s National Team (2012, 2013) and as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for varsity boy’s basketball at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute (2014).
Park graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University (Toronto, Canada) in 2008 and a Masters of Education in Exercise Physiology (Sports Science and Nutrition) from the University of Texas in 2011. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach.