Northwestern University Sullivan-Ubben head men’s basketball coach Chris Collins has announced the hire of former Big Ten Player of the Year A.J. Guyton as the program’s director of player development.
Guyton joins the Wildcats after spending last season as an assistant coach of the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League.
“We’re thrilled to add A.J. to the Northwestern basketball family,” Collins said. “As a Big Ten Player of the Year, a first-team All-American, an NBA player and someone who has great character and integrity, he’s going to be an amazing asset to our program and our student-athletes.”
“I’m honored to be a part of Northwestern University and Coach Collins’ staff,” said Guyton. “To be on such an experienced staff with one of the best coaches in the country as our leader is a dream come true. The program has been trending upward since Coach Collins arrived and I’m just looking forward to contributing to the community and the University in any way possible. I’m truly grateful for this opportunity.”
A 2000 graduate of Indiana University, Guyton starred as a guard for the Hoosiers for four seasons, earning Big Ten Player of the Year and consensus first-team All-America honors his senior year. A three-time team MVP, he earned second-team All-Big Ten recognition and was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1997 before earning first-team all-conference accolades in 1998 and 2000.
A native of Peoria, Illinois, Guyton scored 2,100 career points at IU, ranking him fourth in school history. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2000 NBA Draft (32nd overall pick) and played for the Bulls for two seasons before spending a part of the 2002-03 season with the Golden State Warriors. He went on to play professionally in Italy, Croatia, Greece, Sweden and Qatar until his retirement as a player in 2010.
Guyton started his coaching career at Illinois Central College from 2010-12 where he was a volunteer coach and later the associate head coach. He went on to become a member of the coaching staff at his alma mater, Peoria High School, from 2012-14. Since 2012, he has been the head coach of the Central Illinois Drive (now known as Bloomington Flex) of the semi-pro Premier Basketball League (PBL).
Guyton also has served in a variety of guidance roles at Illinois Central College since 2010, working to assist the school’s diversity department to help increase minority enrollment and retention while providing early academic intervention.