NC State hires Mike Roberts as Assistant Basketball Coach

NC State men’s basketball head coach Kevin Keatts announced Tuesday that Mike Roberts has joined his staff as an assistant coach.

Roberts comes to NC State after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Cincinnati.

In January, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to allow two more assistant coaches on men’s basketball staffs. These additional coaches can engage in coaching activities but may not recruit off campus.

Current assistant coaches Joel JustusKareem Richardson and Levi Watkins will remain in their current roles. Roberts and Steve Snell will fill the new assistant coach positions that were created in January.

Snell who is entering his fourth season with NC State will now serve as Assistant Coach/Director of Basketball Operations. He was hired in the summer of 2020 as the program’s Director of Basketball Operations.

“I’m excited to welcome Mike to our staff,” Keatts said. “He went into coaching the minute his playing career ended, and he’s won a lot of games both as a coach and a player. I was really impressed by Mike throughout the interview process and think he is a great fit with our staff and program. He has a wealth of knowledge, and he’s going to make our players better on and off the court.”

Five of Roberts’ last seven teams have won 20 or more games, including Cincinnati’s 23-win squad in 2022-23. His frontcourt developments include Viktor Lakhin ranking 13th nationally with a 61.7-percent shooting from the field. Lakhin also blocked seven shots in a win at SMU and eight more against Temple, the latter tying the AAC Tournament record. He saw significant improvements in scoring (7.4 ppg), shooting (7.9%), rebounding (3.6 rpg) and steals (39 from 19). In 2021-22, he coached Hayden Koval and current grad assistant Abdul Ado, who were the nation’s top active-career shot blockers.

Roberts came to Cincinnati after spending the previous two seasons as an assistant coach for Indiana University, working under former Head Coach Archie Miller. 

Roberts was part of a staff that attracted the No. 13 class in 2020 including Mr. Basketball winner Anthony Leal. In 2019-20, Indiana finished 20-12 and was poised to return to the NCAA Tournament before the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. The Hoosiers finished with a winning record against nationally ranked teams with five victories, which was tied for seventh most in the country. IU also improved to 26th in the country in adjusted defense according to KenPom. The team also posted a 3.398 grade point average in the spring semester and a perfect 1.000 score on the APR for 2018-19. 

Prior to IU, he spent eight seasons as the Associate Head Coach at UNC Greensboro from 2011-19 under Wes Miller. Roberts helped the Spartans reach the 20-win mark in his last three seasons for the first time in program history, with an 80-26 record overall from 2016-19 along with a 2018 NCAA Tournament appearance and two National Invitational Tournament appearances in 2017 and 2019.

He also helped the Spartans earn their third Southern Conference regular season championship and the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the SoCon Tournament in 2016-17. He helped UNCG to a 25-10 overall record and a 14-4 mark in SoCon play. UNCG advanced to the SoCon Tournament Championship game for the third time in program history and the first time since 2005. Roberts aided the Spartans to their second-straight postseason appearance and just the fifth appearance in program history as UNCG earned the SoCon’s automatic bid into the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Roberts spent four years as an assistant coach at Rice University under Head Coach Ben Braun from 2008-2012. The Owls improved in each of the last three seasons with Roberts on staff, culminating in a 19-16 record in 2011-12, the program’s first winning season since 2005. The 19 wins were also a program high since the 2004-05 campaign.

He also spent two years on Braun’s staff at California from 2006-2008. Prior to California, he spent a year as a graduate assistant coach at Texas Tech under Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight.

During his coaching career, Roberts was the position coach for three NBA draft picks; Ryan Anderson to the Orlando Magic in 2008 (21st pick), Devon Hardin to the Seattle Supersonics in 2008 (50th pick) and Arsalan Kazemi to the Washington Wizards in 2013 (55th pick).

As an undergraduate at Indiana who was recruited by Knight, Roberts was a member of the Hoosiers’ basketball team for five seasons, helping Indiana to three NCAA Tournaments, including a national runner-up finish in 2002, and one NIT. A two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and recipient of a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, he served as team captain as a senior in the 2004-05 season.

The Terre Haute, Ind., native earned his bachelor’s degree in history with a certificate in management from Indiana in 2005 and his master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Texas Tech in 2006.

Mike Roberts Coaching Timeline
2021-23: Assistant Coach at Cincinnati
2019-21: Assistant Coach at Indiana
2012-19: Associate Head Coach at UNCG
2008-12: Assistant Coach at Rice
2007-08: Assistant Coach at California
2006-07: Video Coordinator at California
2005-06: Grad Assistant at Texas Tech

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