Saint Mary’s Men’s Basketball has announced title changes for two current coaches, in addition to the hiring of a new staff member. Head Coach Randy Bennett is pleased to announce the promotion of both Justin Joyner and Mickey McConnell to Associate Head Coach, while bringing on Trey Touchet as the Recruiting Coordinator.
“Justin and Mickey have been invaluable to our program during their tenures,” coach Bennett mentioned. “They both have incredible basketball knowledge and are well-respected within the locker room. This promotion is a testament to the hard work that they have put into coaching, development, and recruiting over their time at Saint Mary’s.”
Joyner has been on the Gaels staff since the 2017-18 season, when he began his time as a Gael as the Director of Operations. He quickly moved into an assistant coaching position prior to the start of the 2018-19 season, and now will take on the new title of Associate Head Coach in advance of his sixth season on the bench.
A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Joyner is eighth all-time in Gauchos history with 357 assists, and ranks second in program history in steals with 134. Joyner started all 32 games for the 2007-08 Gauchos team that won a program-high 23 games. He is a native of Concord, and was the starting point guard for De La Salle High School when they won the California State Division I Championship.
McConnell will begin his fourth season on the Gaels coaching staff and his first with the new Associate Head Coach title. Gaels fans know McConnell for his stellar SMC career (2007-11), which saw him rack up two First Team All-WCC awards and the WCC’s Player of the Year award in 2011. He also was a star in the NCAA Tournament, where he nailed a deep three-pointer against Villanova in the second round that helped send the Gaels to their first-ever Sweet 16 appearance in 2010.
He enjoyed a lengthy playing career post-SMC, which spanned Italy, Germany, Spain, and France. McConnell also had a one-year stint with the Texas Legends, the Dallas Mavericks G-League team, in 2013-14. He returned to Saint Mary’s in 2019 to coach under the man who coached him as a student-athlete, coach Bennett.
With both Joyner and McConnell on staff, the Gaels have enjoyed tremendous success. Over the last three seasons, Saint Mary’s has compiled a 65-25 record (.722 winning percentage), including 27 West Coast Conference wins. Saint Mary’s reached the NCAA Tournament last year with a number-five seed, their best seed in program history, and beat Indiana in the first round for their sixth-ever NCAA Tournament win. The Gaels also would have made the NCAA Tournament following the 2019-20 season had the COVID-19 pandemic not canceled the tournament.
The program has been remarkably consistent on both ends of the floor thanks to the help of Joyner and McConnell. Twice in the last three seasons, Saint Mary’s has recorded an offense that’s ranked in the top-60 according to KenPom in offensive efficiency, and top-15 in defensive efficiency. The Gaels have been a strong offensive rebounding team, ranking inside the top-25 in the country all three seasons, and they’ve been inside the top-five at limiting opposing offenses from assists.
Touchet fills the role of Recruiting Coordinator, which was held by Joe Rahon before he got moved to Assistant Coach. No stranger to Saint Mary’s, Touchet was a graduate assistant for the Men’s Basketball program from 2019-21. Touchet previously played for UTEP and McNeese State and spent his final year at the latter. He started 21 games in his final year with the Cowboys and averaged 4.7 points, 3.0 assists, and led his team in steals. In his career, Touchet played in 118 games and averaged 16.5 minutes during those contests.
“Trey has a great basketball mind and he’s been a strong asset to our program before,” said Bennett. “We are thrilled to have him join our staff in this new capacity.”