Newly minted Utah head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith begins to assemble his staff and adds a familiar face in DeMarlo Slocum, who he worked with as an assistant for three seasons at Colorado State.
“We are thrilled to announce that DeMarlo [Slocum] is joining our Runnin’ Utes basketball staff!” Smith said. “DeMarlo understands the culture of excellence at the University of Utah having served as an assistant here for eight years. He understands the Pac-12 and understands winning in this great league. He can do it all. DeMarlo is a great leader, motivator, coach and recruiter. He is a big relationship person and will thrive in every facet for the Runnin’ Utes program. And, he’ll do it with a ton of energy!”
Slocum, who spent eight seasons on The Hill (2011-19), returns after serving as an assistant coach at UNLV alongside TJ Otzelberger the past two seasons.
A native of Las Vegas, Slocum helped his hometown team to a second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference his first season – which was the best league finish in 12 years. In that same year, the Runnin’ Rebels also handed fourth-ranked San Diego State its first loss of the season and gave UNLV its best true road victory since 1991.
The Runnin’ Rebels were also fantastic in the classroom with 11 student-athletes posting a 3.0 GPA or greater in the spring of 2020.
During his first stint at Utah, Slocum was integral in the Runnin’ Utes making five-straight postseason appearances – including back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths, a Sweet 16 appearance and an NIT runner-up finish. In addition, he was on staff when the Utes had a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in three-consecutive years (2015-17).
Of those three first-round draft picks, Slocum recruited Delon Wright and Kyle Kuzma to SLC. Wright, who was the 2015 Bob Cousy Award winner, became the first player in Pac-12 history to win the honor since the award’s inception in 2003-04. He also led the Runnin’ Utes in scoring and assists back-to-back years (2013-15), and finished his career at Utah with 1,022 points – which is good for 38th best in program history. Wright was a two-time All-Pac-12 First-Teamer (2014-15) while Kuzma was a first-team honoree in 2017. Wright was the 20th overall selection by Toronto Raptors in 2015 and currently plays with the Sacramento Kings while Kuzma was drafted 27th overall by the Brooklyn Nets before playing an integral role in the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run in 2020.
Prior to joining the Utes, Slocum spent four seasons at Colorado State where he worked alongside Smith under Tim Miles. Slocum was part of the revitalization process of the Rams’ basketball program and went from winning seven games total his first year to 19 games his final year in Ft. Collins with two-straight postseason appearances.
Before joining Miles’ staff, Slocum was an assistant coach at Idaho during the 2006-07 season after joining Tim Floyd’s staff as the director of operations at Southern California (2005-06).
Slocum’s coaching career began in at Georgia Southern where he finished his collegiate career, serving as a graduate assistant for the 2001-02 campaign. From there, he returned to his home state to become the head coach at Desert Pines High School from 2002-04. While leading the Jaguars, Slocum also founded the Las Vegas Prospects AAU program.
A student-athlete himself, Slocum spent two seasons at Dixie State before finishing out his career at Georgia Southern where he earned a degree in public recreation and kinesiology in 2001. As a junior at Georgia Southern, he was the team’s second-leading scorer before finishing fourth in scoring as a senior.