Mercer Basketball Staff Update

Mercer men’s basketball head coach Greg Gary announced the hiring of three assistant coaches and a director of basketball operations on Wednesday. The hires complete Gary’s first-year coaching staff in his new role as the Bears’ head coach.

Gary rounded out his coaching staff with the hiring of former Lamar associate head coach Bobby Kummer, former Richmond assistant coach Kim Lewis and former Miami Christian High School head coach Juan Cardona. Former Purdue graduate assistant D.J. Byrd will join Gary’s staff as the Director of Basketball Operations as well.

“I’m extremely excited about the staff we’ve put together for the upcoming season,” Gary said. “We have experience, we have knowledgeable guys and we’re going to have a very close-knit group. Each one of them – Bobby, Kim, Juan and D.J. – have been successful in prior positions and I’m ecstatic to get that type of staff here at Mercer.”

Birthdate: July 11, 1974
Hometown: Detroit, Mich.
High School: Detroit Catholic Central
College: Charlotte, 1996
Wife: Nicole

About Bobby Kummer
Kummer was most recently the associate head coach at Lamar and brings nearly 30 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience with him to Mercer. He spent the last five seasons with the Cardinals, the last three of which he held the associate head coach title.

Kummer helped turn the Cardinals’ program from a Southland Conference bottom feeder to a conference title contender in a short span; after winning a total of seven games in the two seasons prior to his arrival, Lamar has won 19-plus games in each of the last three years.

Prior to Lamar, Kummer spent four seasons at Appalachian State, including three as the Mountaineers’ associate head coach. Kummer also spent time as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Charlotte, and Texas A&M. His coaching career began in 1996 at Charlotte, where he helped the 49ers reach two NCAA Tournaments. After his time at Texas A&M, Kummer returned to Charlotte for six seasons.

An accomplished recruiter, Kummer has helped coach 20-plus all-conference selections, two conference players of the year, two conference defensive players of the year and two conference freshmen of the year and has been instrumental in signing five top-20 recruiting classes, of which nearly 40 players have gone on to sign professional contracts.

A two-time team captain at Charlotte, Kummer guided the 49ers to a 1995 Metro Conference title and a trip to the 1995 NCAA Tournament. He graduated from Charlotte in 1996.

Birthdate: Nov. 14, 1972
Hometown: Angie, La.
High School: Varnado High School (Angie, La.)
College: Tulane, 1994

About Kim Lewis
Lewis served on Richmond’s staff from 2011-19, the last seven of which as an assistant coach. The Spiders won 19-plus games in four different seasons during Lewis’ tenure at Richmond, including 22 in 2016-17 when they made a run to the NIT semifinals.

Lewis has over 20 years of experience as a college assistant coach, having held previous positions at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2010-11), Tulane (2008-10, 1996-98), Duquesne (2006-08), Northeastern (2004-06), McNeese State (2002-03) and Xavier University of Louisiana (2001-02). Among his coaching career highlights is mentoring NBA World Champion Jose Barea at Northeastern.

The Metro Conference Freshman of the Year at Tulane in 1990-91, Lewis – the Metro Conference Freshman of the Year at Tulane in 1990-91 – was a college teammate of Gary’s with the Green Wave. The duo helped Tulane win a 1991-92 conference championship and earn its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. Lewis later played professionally with Grindavik in Iceland, among other organizations. Lewis was enshrined in the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame in November 2014.

Birthdate: Aug. 24, 1978
Hometown: Vega Baja, Puerto Rico
High School: Harlem High School (Harlem, Ga.)
College: Middle Georgia College, 1996 & Interamerican University, 2003
Wife: Rosaida
Children: Mariliz, Johanna, Juan, Joaliz

About Juan Cardona
Cardona arrives in Macon following a three-year stretch as the head coach at Miami Christian High School in Miami, Fla., where he led the program to a pair of 2A FHSAA state titles (2017, 2018) and a No. 1 ranking in the state of Florida during the 2017 season. Cardona additionally led the Miami Tropics AAU program from 2016-19, where he worked alongside his mentor, Art Alvarez.

An experienced and accomplished coach in Puerto Rico and Mexico as well, Cardona served as the head coach for seven different professional organizations from 2007-18, including a most recent position with Caciques de Humacao in Humacao, P.R.

Further accomplishments of Cardona’s include leading the Puerto Rican U-17 National Team to a gold medal at the Centrobasket Tournament in 2007 and leading American University (Bayamon, P.R.) and Caribbean University (Bayamon, P.R.) as their head coach in 2012, and 2009-11, respectively.

Hometown: Crawfordsville, Ind.
High School: North Montgomery HS (Ind.)
College: Purdue, 2013
Wife: Ashley

About D.J. Byrd
Byrd spent the last two seasons with Gary at Purdue, where the Boilermakers most recently made an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance this past season. A former standout on the hardwood at Purdue, Byrd played in 130 career games, scoring 890 points and making 195 three-pointers, the sixth-most in a career in school history. Byrd was the Big Ten’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2012 and helped lead Purdue to three NCAA Tournaments as a player (2010, 2011, 2012). He played professionally in Germany with the Kirchheim Knights in the Pro A German League.

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