Following up on a report from earlier today…UNLV men’s basketball head coach Marvin Menzies announced his coaching staff on Thursday. Andre LaFleur, Rob Jeter and Eric Brown have all been hired as assistant coaches for the Runnin’ Rebels.
“After a very thorough process, I am extremely pleased with the staff that we were able to put together,” Menzies said. “Andre, Rob and Eric are three tremendous individuals and they will become a big part of the Las Vegas community immediately. They will fit perfectly into the plans we have for Runnin’ Rebel basketball moving forward.
“Everything from style of play, to recruiting, to coaching, were considered with all candidates and with the experience that these three bring along with their contacts and ability to recruit all over the United States, I feel like we knocked the ball out of the park.”
LaFleur has been the associate head coach at Providence under head coach Ed Cooley for the last five seasons, and for 10 years prior to that he held a variety of positions on the coaching staff at Connecticut under Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun.
Providence played in the postseason in each of the last four years, including the last three in the NCAA Tournament. Led by All-America point guard Kris Dunn, the Friars advanced to the second round of this year’s NCAA Tournament.
At UConn, LaFleur helped the Huskies capture two national championships (2004 and 2011) and record a 258-88 mark (.764). The team also went to a Sweet 16 and an Elite 8 during his time on the staff. LaFleur started at UConn in 2001 and spent three seasons as the team’s director of basketball operations. In 2005, he was promoted to assistant coach and was promoted again in 2006 by being named the team’s recruiting coordinator.
LaFleur was instrumental in bringing in Hasheem Thabeet and Kemba Walker among others to UConn. Thabeet was the 2009 Big East Player of the Year, the 2009 National Defensive Player of the Year and the No. 2 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, while Walker was the No. 9 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
LaFleur played for Calhoun at Northeastern and is a 1987 graduate of the school. He was drafted by the NBA’s Houston Rockets and played and coached professionally overseas for 11 seasons.
“Andre is a great person and does a great job,” Calhoun said. “He was a great player for me and the same enthusiasm he had as a player, he has brought into coaching. He is a terrific teacher, has a great feel for the game, is a great recruiter and was a huge part of all the success we had at UConn in winning national titles, Big East titles and making Final Four appearances. He also had a lot of success at Providence in getting them to the national tournament. His work speaks volumes and he is a terrific addition for Marvin and for UNLV.”
Jeter was the head coach at Milwaukee for the past 11 years, winning 20 or more games five times, including this past season. He led the Panthers to the NCAA Tournament twice and to the NIT and CBI in back-to-back years. He recorded a 185-170 mark leading the school, just one victory shy of the most wins in school history by any coach. His total of 101 Horizon League victories ranks third all-time in the conference.
Before becoming head coach at Milwaukee, Jeter wan an assistant under legendary head coach Bo Ryan at both Wisconsin (2001-05) and UWM (1999-01). He was also an assistant at Marquette (1998-99, under Mike Deane) and an assistant at Wisconsin-Platteville under Ryan (1994-98). He has been part of nine conference championships and two national titles as a coach. In his 11 years as an assistant coach, his teams posted a 245-85 (.743) combined overall record and a 126-46 (.733) mark in league play.
Jeter played college basketball at UW-Platteville under Ryan, captaining his team to the 1991 NCAA Division III title as a senior, and is a graduate of the school. He also earned a master’s degree from there in 2001.
“Rob is one of the most competitive people I have ever been around,” Ryan said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge with coaching on the floor with all positions and he can recruit. He helped establish our program at Wisconsin to where it was and he has done a little bit of everything in coaching. He is great with people as well.”
Brown spent the last nine years as an assistant coach at Long Beach State where he helped coach the 49ers to three Big West Conference regular-season titles, three NIT appearances and a spot in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He was recently named one of the Top 25 Assistant Coach Recruiters at the mid-major level by a panel of national media, scouts and former coaches, and was No. 3 on the Basketball Times list of the Top 50 “Low to Mid-Major Assistant Coaches.”
Brown has been an assistant coach at the Division I level for the past 17 years, having also spent time at Cal State Northridge (1999-01), USC (2001-05) and Iowa State (2005-06).
At Long Beach State, he recruited and helped develop All-Big West Players James Ennis and Casper Ware, both of whom spent time in the NBA, and at USC he recruited NBA players Nick Young, Gabe Pruitt and Robert Swift.
Brown is a 1998 graduate of Cal State Northridge.
“This is bittersweet for me,” said Dan Monson, head coach at Long Beach State. “You always want your assistants to move up in the profession and I think Eric and his family are excited for the challenge at UNLV. But at the same time, I have lost one of the best assistants I have had in the 20 years I have been a head coach. Eric is very loyal and has worked side by side for nine years with me here to build Long Beach State into the program that it is. He has done a great job coaching, recruiting and caring about our players.”