Heading into his first season as head coach at Salem University, Robert Ford brings in a new coaching staff with hopes of an even better season than the 17-9 the team posted last year.
Ford brings in Assistant Coach Carliss Robinson from Coastal Bend College where he spent the last four years as the head coach. Also joining the staff are first-year graduate assistants Chase Robey and Darion Brown, along with volunteer assistant Cruz Madrid.
While at Coastal Bend, an NJCAA Division I, Robinson and his team made it to the Region 14 Tournament back to back for the first time in program history in the past two seasons. Robinson coached the Region 14 scoring leader Willie Rocks and the national leader in blocks, Ed Franklin. He has had multiple players sign full scholarships with NCAA Division I, Division II, and NAIA programs.
“I am thrilled to have Coach Robinson join my staff as the assistant coach,” stated Ford. “He has earned valuable experience as a head coach in one of the toughest junior college regions for men’s basketball in the country. He has shown an ability to recruit high-level talent, develop players, and has the experience of running a successful program. I will lean on him heavily to help us continue to build our program here at Salem University.”
Another new edition to the staff is graduate assistant Chase Robey. Robey graduated from West Virginia University. The Bridgeport, W.Va. native has worked with Coach Mike Carey with West Virginia University women’s basketball as a practice player, intern, and summer camp coach.
“Chase is a son of a coach, he’s been around the game all of his life, similar to myself,” exclaimed Ford. “He’s also had the opportunity to be mentored by one of the greatest basketball coaches ever at Salem University, Mike Carey. His knowledge of the game and basketball IQ, along with his ties to the local community will be very important for our program.”
Darion Brown, another graduate assistant for the team, graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University. While his time there, Brown was a four-year starter holding school records for career games played, games started, minutes played and total assists.
Brown was named RRAC Freshman of the Year, 3-time All-Conference player and also made two appearances in the NAIA National Tournament Elite 8. Brown has also worked with AAU organizations Crab5 Elite and the Dallas Seawolves.
“Darion is a former player of mine from my time coaching at Our Lady of the Lake University. He is one of the toughest, hardest working, and passionate guys I have ever had the opportunity of coaching,” Ford mentioned of Brown. “His work ethic and passion will allow him to grow into becoming a very good coach.”
The last add-on to the Tigers’ staff is volunteer assistant Cruz Madrid. Madrid has over six years of experience working with student-athletes at the NCAA Division I level. Madrid has spent some time working at WGL Management where he has participated in various basketball camps including the NVA Las Vegas Summer League.
The 2015 University of Texas at San Antonio graduate has past experience as an assistant basketball coach at both Bethany College and St. Anthony’s Catholic School.
“Cruz is someone I met through a coaching colleague and he really stuck out to me. He has a genuine love and passion for coaching and a desire to do whatever it takes to help our program be successful,” Ford claimed. “His loyalty and determination are unmatched and I believe he will be a very valuable addition to our program.”
“I am very excited to have these four men added to our staff. They each bring something unique and valuable to our coaching staff that will benefit our program and our players,” Ford stated.