Jerrance Howard retained on new staff at Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois head coach Scott Nagy announced that he will retain assistant coach Jerrance Howard on staff.

“I’m so pleased to be able to keep Jerrance on staff. He provides continuity and a relationship for the players that choose to stay with us from last year’s team,” Nagy said. “I know how well respected he is when it comes to recruiting and coaching, and I look forward to working with him.”

A veteran in the coaching world and known to be one of the nation’s top recruiters, Howard will enter his second season at Southern Illinois after a year at the University of Texas where he was instrumental in signing the best transfer class in the nation for the Longhorns in 2021-22. That season, he helped lead Texas to a 20-win season and its first NCAA Tournament win since 2014.

“My family and I are excited to join coach Nagy’s staff and continue to invest our time and energy at SIU,” Howard said. “When you combine coach Nagy’s track record of success with the history and tradition of Saluki basketball and the Carbondale community, you produce great expectations for the future.”

Howard continued: “I am grateful for the continued support of Director of Athletics Tim Leonard and Chancellor Austin Lane. Their steady leadership alongside coach Nagy should have everyone excited about the new era of Saluki basketball.”

Howard has nearly two decades of collegiate coaching experience. Before Texas, he spent eight seasons at Kansas under Bill Self. In Lawrence, he helped the Jayhawks claim six Big 12 Conference regular-season championships and two Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship crowns and make seven NCAA Tournament appearances, including three trips to the Elite Eight (2016, 2017 and 2018) and one to the Final Four in 2018. The Jayhawks registered an overall record of 222-59 (.790) during Howard’s eight seasons on staff, including a 112-32 (.778) mark in Big 12 Conference play.

Howard was instrumental in the development of 13 Kansas players who moved on to play in the NBA. Nine players had their name called during the NBA Draft with five of those being first-round selections. The list of draft picks includes: Andrew Wiggins, No. 1 by Cleveland in 2014; Joel Embiid, No. 3 by Philadelphia in 2014; Kelly Oubre Jr., No. 15 by Atlanta in 2015; Cheick Diallo, No. 33 by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2016; Josh Jackson, No. 4 by Phoenix in 2017; Frank Mason III, No. 34 by Sacramento in 2017; Devonte’ Graham, No. 34 by Atlanta in 2018; Svi Mykhailiuk, No. 47 by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018; and Udoka Azubuike, No. 27 by Utah in 2020.

He coached a total of 33 All-Big 12 selections during his eight years in Lawrence. He also helped develop three Big 12 Players of the Year in Frank Mason III, the 2017 consensus National Player of the Year; Devonte’ Graham, a 2018 first-team All-American; and Udoka Azubuike, the 2020 NABC National Defensive Player of the Year.

Over a three-year period from 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, the Jayhawks posted an overall record of 95-18 (44-10 Big 12) and advanced to three consecutive Elite Eights, including a trip to the National Semifinals in 2018. Kansas went 33-5 (15-3 Big 12) in 2015-16, 31-5 (16-2) in 2016-17 and 31-8 (13-5) in 2017-18.

In the summer of 2015, Howard served as an assistant coach for the USA National Team, consisting primarily of Kansas players, coaches and staff. The team posted an 8-0 record and won the gold medal at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea. It marked the first gold medal for Team USA at the World University Games since 2005.

Prior to his time at Kansas, Howard worked as an assistant coach under the legendary Larry Brown for one year (2012-13) at SMU. He spent five years (2007-12) as an assistant at the University of Illinois, his alma mater. The Illini registered an overall mark of 98-73 (.573) in those five seasons and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament (2009 and 2011) and one trip to the NIT quarterfinals (2010). Meyers Leonard was selected No. 11 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Howard served as interim head coach at Illinois for a brief time following the end of the 2011-12 season.

Howard began his coaching career as an administrative assistant under Billy Gillespie for three years at Texas A&M (2004-07). During his three seasons in College Station, the Aggies posted an overall record of 73-27 (.730), including a 30-18 mark in Big 12 play, and made two NCAA Tournament appearances and one trip to the NIT quarterfinals. Texas A&M recorded a 27-7 mark (13-3 Big 12) and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in the 2006-07 season. Antoine Wright was selected as the No. 15 pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, and Acie Law was chosen as the No. 11 pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks.

Following the end of the 2006-07 campaign, Howard joined Gillespie’s staff at the University of Kentucky in an operations role. He served in that capacity until he was hired as an assistant coach at Illinois in September 2007.

A native of Peoria, Illinois, he was a four-year letter winner at the University of Illinois from 2001-04. During his career, the Fighting Illini posted an overall record of 104-31, including a 48-16 mark in Big Ten Conference play. Illinois captured three Big Ten Championships (2001, 2002 and 2004) and one Big Ten Tournament title (2003) and made four NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002 and 2004 and the Elite Eight in 2001.

Howard, who played alongside All-Americans Frank Williams, Dee Brown and Deron Williams, served as team captain in his junior and senior seasons. He also was a two-time recipient of the Kenny Battle Award, given to the player who earns the respect of his teammates through hard work and effort in games and practice each day.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Illinois in 2004. Howard and his wife, Jessica, have two children, Jerrance Jr. and Jaya.

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