The University of Hartford men’s basketball team has rounded out its staff with the hiring of Ivo Simovic and Donnie Carr, head coach John Gallagher announced today. Simovic will serve as an assistant coach for the Hawks, while Carr is the program’s new coordinator of player development.
“I couldn’t be more excited to add Ivo and Donnie to our staff,” Gallagher said. “Both bring unique perspectives to our program that will have a major impact in both the recruitment of future players and the development of our current guys. With these two, plus the staff we already have in place, I am blessed to have a staff that is among the best in college basketball in terms of basketball IQ and work ethic.”
Simovic joins the Hawks after a strong career on both the international and NBA fronts. He served as the sports director for CB Espacio Torrelodones in Spain for the last eight years, where he landed some of the top players in Madrid throughout his time there.They were the runner-up in the Madrid Basketball Federation during the2011-12 season. The club showed tremendous technical growth under Simovic, and he mentored such coaches as Darko Rajakovic, now an assistant with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Simovic also spent the summer of 2013 working as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs during their summer league season. He worked with such highly-touted players as Deshaun Thomas, Hollis Thompson and Cory Joseph in his time there. He also served as the head coach for youth teams for the famed Red Star Belgrade program in his native Serbia.
Most recently, Carr coached for Philadelphia’s Team Final on the AAU circuit in the summer of 2015 for the Under-15 squad. He also served previously served as an assistant coach in the program for Team Final’s Under-15 team, which is annually one of the top AAU programs in the region. He also served as an assistant coach for the Haverford School, Roman Catholic High School and Holy Family College.
His time as a coach followed an overseas playing career that was cut short by injuries. Attending high school at Roman Catholic, the Philadelphia native was one of the most highly-touted players in the nation, and went on to a tremendous college career at LaSalle. In his time with the Explorers, he finished his career with 2,067 points, the fifth-most in program history.
Carr and Simovic join assistant coaches Tom Devitt and Jaret von Rosenberg, director of operations Matt Mihalich and graduate manager Ben Farmer to round out Gallagher’s staff for the 2015-16 season. The Hawks open the year with an exhibition on Friday, Nov. 6, against Bowie State in Chase Arena at the Reich Family Pavilion, then begin their regular season on Friday, Nov. 13 at Central Connecticut in the Connecticut 6 Classic.