The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball program and head coach Matt McCall announced the hiring of associate head coach Cliff Warren and assistant coaches Rasheen Davis and Peter Gash on Monday.
“Any time you are putting together a coaching staff the main thing you are looking for are guys that not only make the program better, but can also make me better as a head coach and push me every day,” McCall said. “We are not going to label guys as just recruiters or just scouts, we want guys in here that can do all aspects of the job and really operate at a high level, and that is what we have in Rasheen Davis, Peter Gash and Cliff Warren.”
Cliff Warren – Associate Head Coach
Warren comes to the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball staff from the University of Maryland, where he spent three seasons split between roles as director of operations, director of player personnel and assistant coach. Over the 2014-17 campaigns, Warren helped the Terps collect 79 victories and earn three NCAA Tournament berths.
“With every position on our staff we were looking for guys that would be tremendous resources for all of our players,” McCall said. “Also, as a head coach, you want to surround yourself with people that can push and challenge you to make you a better coach. Cliff has been a head coach for nine years, when he won two regular season conference titles, and has also been an assistant coach on an NCAA Final Four team. His experience and ability will be a tremendous asset for our program.”
With coaching experience in the ACC, Atlantic Sun, MAAC and Northeast Conference, Warren’s wealth of basketball knowledge helped Maryland during its successful transition into the Big Ten, to the tune of a 38-16 (.704) conference record since the 2014-15 inaugural Big Ten campaign. Additionally, Warren was instrumental in developing five All-Big Ten performers, including all-American guard Melo Trimble.
“I am humbled and thankful for this opportunity to work not only for Matt McCall, but for the University of Massachusetts,” Warren said. “I am excited to be working with such young, dynamic coaches and I believe our future as a program is bright. I am thrilled about the facilities that we have here and the athletic administration that supports our vision for this team.”
As the head coach at Jacksonville University for nine seasons prior to his arrival in College Park, Warren accounted for 126 wins – a program coaching record – and led the Dolphins to a pair of Atlantic Sun Championships in 2009 and 2010. He was also named Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year after the 2008-09 season.
“It is exciting to be coaching in the Atlantic 10 where we have great basketball players and excellent basketball minds,” Warren continued. “The history and tradition at UMass with Julius Erving and Marcus Camby, just to name a few, makes this an honor and a privilege to work here.”
A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Warren completed five seasons as an assistant to Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech, where he helped the Yellow Jackets win 96 games and make three NCAA Tournament appearances, including the school’s first-ever trip to the NCAA National Championship game in 2004. Warren spent three successful years at Siena College under Hewitt, when the Saints went 66- 27, collected two postseason berths and tallied three straight appearances in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Game.
Warren began his coaching career at his alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s, under legendary program leader Jim Phelan. The Mountaineers reached their first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1995 during Warren’s tenure as an assistant coach and followed with a Northeast Conference regular season title and NIT berth in 1996.
Warren earned his bachelor of science degree in business finance from Mount St. Mary’s in 1990. He then worked with the Mountaineers as a graduate assistant coach and earned a master of business administration in 1993. He was a two-year starter at Mount St. Mary’s and capped his collegiate playing days ranked in the top five in program history for assists.
Rasheen Davis – Assistant Coach
Davis joined the VCU staff prior to 2015-16 and proved paramount to the development of Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team selection Melvin Johnson, who became the Rams’ all-time leader in 3-point field goals during that season. On the defensive side, Davis was also integral in the implementation of VCU’s 2-2-1 zone press.
“Rasheen is one of the most respected coaches in the New York – New Jersey area,” McCall said. “He has spent an enormous amount of time developing relationships through New England as well and is extremely well-respected. He has worked alongside some terrific head coaches and holds knowledge that will flat out make our program better.”
Davis was the associate head coach at Manhattan College for three seasons from 2012-15, during which the Jaspers won 58 games, took home the 2014 and 2015 MAAC Tournament Championship titles and advanced to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Any time an opportunity knocks on your door, such as being employed at a place with such promise and rich tradition as the University of Massachusetts presents itself, you don’t walk through the door, you bust through it,” Davis said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from some of the brightest coaches and administrators that intercollegiate athletics has to offer. Coach (Matt) McCall has had success and a complete understanding of what is required to shape the minds of our young people on our roster and our overall University of Massachusetts community.”
A familiar face in the Atlantic 10, Davis coached with Xavier under Chris Mack for two seasons, when the Musketeers secured back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths in 2011 and 2012. Davis helped the program to 47 wins during his two seasons, including 25 in the A-10. He mentored seven all-conference choices and guided Tu Holloway to the 2011 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Award and all-America status.
“It is my belief that your foundation is the most important component to building something great,” Davis continued. “Behind the leadership and vision of [Director of Athletics] Ryan Bamford and Coach McCall, I am extremely enthusiastic to hit the ground and begin to build something great.”
Davis brings a well-rounded resume to Amherst, including time spent as a program assistant at Louisville (2007-08), video coordinator at Pittsburgh (2008-09), assistant coach at St. Thomas Aquinas College (2002-05) and a coach at the high school and AAU level for Rice High School (N.Y.) from 2005-07 and the New York Gauchos, respectively.
Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from St. Thomas Aquinas in 2002 and received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the College of New Rochelle in 2005.
Peter Gash – Assistant Coach
Gash continues his coaching partnership with McCall at Massachusetts after the duo worked together on-staff at Florida Atlantic (2009-11), Florida (20014-15) and Chattanooga (2015-17).
“Pete is someone whom I have known for a long time and have a tremendous amount of respect for in this business,” McCall said. “He has been a part of some great programs and worked with some terrific head coaches. He comes here with me from Chattanooga and was a part of one of the best seasons in school history.”
Most recently, Gash helped McCall as an assistant coach at Chattanooga during McCall’s two seasons at the helm of the Mocs’ program. The team won 48 games over those two campaigns, took home the 2016 Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles, and reached the NCAA Tournament. Prior to teaming up at Chattanooga, McCall and Gash worked side-by-side at Florida in 2014-15 when Gash was the team’s video coordinator.
“I am extremely excited to join Coach McCall’s staff at the University of Massachusetts,” Gash said. “Growing up in the Northeast, I know what UMass can be. I know Coach McCall has the right vision and plan to move forward in the right direction. I am honored to be a part of the program and serve the players, community and university in any way I can.”
Gash joined the Gators after five seasons at Florida Atlantic. After he initially joined the staff as the team’s director of operations in 2009, Gash was promoted to assistant coach prior to the 2011-12 season. He helped head coach Mike Jarvis and the Owls secure the program’s first Sun Belt regular season title (2011), break the school record for wins (21) and land the program’s inaugural berth in the NIT – the program’s first postseason appearance since 2002. A talented recruiter, Gash was instrumental in the program landing commitments from future all-freshman performers in Stefan Moody (2013, Sun Belt) and Marquan Botley (2014, C-USA).
“Coach McCall has been more than a mentor to me,” Gash continued. “He believed in me on multiple occasions and I wish to pass that commitment and belief on to the kids we bring into the UMass community. I firmly believe we have the right plan for how to get UMass back to championship standards and I know Coach McCall will stop at nothing to ensure UMass will hang banners in the Mullins Center again.”
Another staff member familiar with the Atlantic 10, Gash began his post-graduate collegiate basketball career as the video coordinator for Dr. John Giannini at La Salle in 2007. He moved on to Indiana as a graduate assistant on Tom Crean’s staff in 2008.
Gash was a student-assistant at Lynn University for three seasons while he earned a degree in sports management, which included a school-record 29 wins and trip to the NCAA Division II Final Four.