Kansas City Men’s Basketball Staff Update

Kansas City Men’s Basketball and Head Coach Billy Donlon have announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches, Matt Vest and Justin Brown. Vest, who played for Donlon at Wright State from 2010-14, joins the Roos after spending the past seven years playing professional ball overseas. Brown spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Illinois.

Additionally, the Roos have officially announced the hiring of Director of Operations Vince Fritz. Fritz was with the team last season but will now perform his duties in a full-time capacity.

“Vince worked very hard for our program last year and I am grateful that we can now officially name him our Director of Operations,” Donlon said. “Vince does an excellent job of organizing day-to-day and he will make an excellent coach in the near future.”

Matt Vest joins the Roos after a lengthy professional career in Germany, having played for five clubs in his seven seasons. His duties with the Roos include recruiting, scouting, and in-game and practice coaching.

“I was very fortunate to have had a long and successful playing career at both the collegiate and professional levels, but coaching was always in my heart,” Vest said. “I owe so much of my success, both on and off of the court, to my college coach and mentor, Billy Donlon. When he approached me with the opportunity to join his staff at Kansas City, it was an absolute no-brainer. I look forward to continuing to build upon the success of the program and serving this university and its student-athletes.”

Most recently, Vest played for Science City Jena from 2019-21, averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 assists for the Pro A-level team in 2019-20. A defensive hound, he also averaged 1.5 steals per game.

Prior to his time with Science City, Vest also played for Chemnitz (2018-19), Cologne Rhein (2017-18), Paderborn (2015-17) and Gotha (2014-15). Statistically speaking, Vest’s best year came in 2016-17 as a member of Paderborn. He averaged career-highs in points (13.3), rebounds (4.9), assists (5.6) and steals (1.6) while shooting 45.3% from the field.

Vest played four years of collegiate ball at Wright State under Coach Donlon, earning a plethora of awards during his time with the Raiders. He was a team captain during his final two seasons in Dayton, leading the team to two Horizon League Championship game appearances.  Known for his defensive play, he was named to the Horizon League All-Defensive team in 2014, also earning a spot on the Academic All-Horizon First Team and winning Horizon League Male Scholar Athlete of the Month. Additionally, he was a two-time Honor Roll Recipient in 2013 and 2014. Vest earned his spot in the Wright State record books by shooting 44.3% from three-point range in 2013-14, the eighth-best percentage in program history, and playing in 123 games, which ranks seventh all-time.

“I’ve wanted to hire a former player, and Matt has always been at the top of the list,” Donlon said. “Matt was a terrific player and one of the hardest-working, toughest and best defensive players I’ve ever coached. His knowledge of our program, professional playing career and relatability will be key attributes on the recruiting trail.”

A Dayton, Ohio native, Vest graduated from Chaminade Julienne High School in 2010 before earning his Business Management degree from Wright State in 2014. Vest comes from a family of basketball success, as his father Mark and brother Alan also played at Wright State, while his sister Sara played at Western Michigan and his brother Kevin played at Tusculum.

Vest currently resides in Kansas City with his wife Samantha and their one-year-old, Walter. Samantha attended Wright State as well, playing for the Raiders’ women’s soccer team. 

Justin Brown comes to Kansas City from Eastern Illinois University, spending three years on the Panthers’ coaching staff. With the Roos, his role will include recruiting, academics and on-court coaching.

“Coach Donlon is recognized by many in the basketball world as one of the brightest minds in coaching and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of Kansas City Men’s Basketball and learn from him,” Brown said.

During his time at EIU, the Panthers saw some of their best basketball in decades. The 2019-20 squad won 17 games, their third winning season since 2001 and qualified for the Ohio Valley Conference Quarterfinals. While in Charleston, he helped to coach two-time OVC First-Teamer Josiah Wallace, All-OVC Second Team performer Mack Smith and All-OVC Newcomer George Dixon. 

Brown brings over a decade of coaching experience to the Roos’ staff, also spending time as an assistant coach at South Plains College (2011-13, 16-18), Utah State University Eastern (2013-16) and Southwest Baptist (2009-10). Additionally, he was the head boy’s coach at Perspective Charter High School in Chicago in 2010-11. 

During his time coaching at the junior college level, Brown helped placed 34 student-athletes on NCAA Division One rosters and won two NJCAA National Championships (2012 & 2018). While at USU Eastern, he led the team to three-straight winning seasons.

“Justin brings great experience, having won two National Championships at South Plains Junior College,” Donlon said. “He has worked for two remarkable coaches in Steve Green and Jay Spoonhour and has excellent recruiting contacts, especially in the Junior College world.”

Brown also had an illustrious playing career, playing at South Plains College and Southwest Baptist University. He helped Southwest Baptist win back-to-back MIAA Championships in 2008 & 2009 while earning his Bachelor’s in Sports Management. 

Originally from Chicago, Ill., Brown graduated from Robeson High School in 2005. He recently engaged his fiancée, Kimberly Segura, and has two children, Jalen and Aspen.


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