Former Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and consensus All-American A.J. Guyton has joined Head Coach Tavaras Hardy’s coaching staff as an assistant, completing the Greyhounds bench marshals for the 2018-2019 season.
Guyton, who served as Northwestern University’s director of player development for the 2017-2018 season, joins Ivo Simović and Brenden Straughn as assistant coaches; Kevin Farrell returns as the director of basketball operations.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome A.J. and his family to join us as we lead Loyola basketball into a new era,” Hardy said. “I have known A.J. for more than 20 years, going back to our days as AAU teammates and then Big Ten competitors. As a player, he used his competitive drive, work ethic and attention to detail to become an All-American and NBA draft pick. As a coach and most recently as the Director of Player Development on a great staff at Northwestern, A.J. has demonstrated a tremendous ability to connect with and inspire young men. His life experiences and knowledge of the game will pay huge dividends for both our current and future student-athletes”
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Guyton was named the Big Ten Player of the Year as a senior in 2000 at Indiana University where he culminated a standout career with an even 2,100 points to go with 429 rebounds, 403 assists and 129 steals. He finished his tenure in Bloomington, and remains, fourth in school history in points; Guyton is currently eighth at Indiana in all-time assists.
He averaged 13.6 points per game in his first season with the Hoosiers, picking up Big Ten Freshman of the Year and All-Big Ten Second Team honors in 1996-97. Guyton then shot 43.9 percent from 3-point range – he remains the school’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (283) – and averaged 16.8 points as a First Team All-Big Ten performer as a sophomore. Following that season, he was a member of Team USA and won a gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Guyton then posted 16.0 points per game as a junior before tallying a career-high 19.7 during his senior season in which he was the conference’s Player of the Year, a First Team All-Big Ten selection. He was a unanimous All-America First Team selection of The Associated Press, USBWA, NABC and Sporting News. Playing for Head Coach Bobby Knight, Guyton helped guide Indiana to four-straight NCAA Tournaments and at least 20 wins in each of his seasons with the Hoosiers.
“I am excited about my opportunity to join Coach Hardy’s staff at Loyola University Maryland,” Guyton said. “Beginning with our days as teammates with the Illinois Warriors AAU program, Tavaras is a person I’ve had a great relationship with over the years. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences as a player and coach on all levels of basketball with the student-athletes at Loyola. I believe with the staff Coach Hardy has put together we will help make Loyola a consistent championship level competitor, while developing great leaders.”
Following his graduation from Indiana in 2000, Guyton was a second-round draft pick of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. He played two seasons in the Windy City where he averaged 6.0 points and 1.9 assists as a rookie in 2000-01 and 5.4 points the following season. After two years with the Bulls, Guyton was a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2002-03.
Guyton then embarked on a seven-year European career where he played in Italy, Israel, Croatia, Greece, Sweden and Qatar before retiring as a player in 2010.
He returned stateside and entered the coaching ranks at Illinois Central College in his native Peoria where he also worked in the school’s guidance and retention offices while assisting the diversity department to increase minority enrollment and retention while providing early academic intervention.
Guyton assisted with his alma mater’s team at Peoria High School from 2012-14 and was the head coach of the Central Illinois Drive (now the Bloomington Flex) of the Premier Basketball League (PBL) for three seasons (2012-15). There, he led the professional team to three PBL championships while being named the association’s Coach of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.
After winning his third PBL title as a coach, Guyton joined the NBA G League’s Windy City Bulls as an assistant coach for the 2016-17 campaign.