The UNC Greensboro (UNCG) men’s basketball team and head coach Mike Jones announced staffing changes this summer.
Ron Jirsa, a 40-year veteran of college coaching, announced his retirement this spring from UNCG. Coach Jirsa had just finished his first season as an assistant coach with the Spartans following six years at Radford University. During his career, Jirsa spent time as the head coach at the University of Georgia as well as Marshall University.
Jirsa was an instrumental piece of Mike Jones‘ second staff and championship run at Radford before coming to UNCG. He oversaw many aspects of the program and helped lead the Spartans to 17 wins and a berth in the Roman College Basketball Invitational during his one season in Greensboro.
“I am forever indebted to Coach Jirsa for the time we worked together,” said head coach Jones. “He helped me grow in so many ways as a coach, and his experience and wisdom are some things that I will certainly miss. He provided me with countless insights that helped grow our program at Radford and establish the culture here at UNCG. Thankfully, he’s only a phone call away and I won’t go too many days without reaching out to him.”
In the wake of Coach Jirsa’s retirement, Head Coach Mike Jones has announced the promotion of Brett Gilbert to Assistant Coach. Brett served the previous year as Director of Recruiting and Player Development for the Spartans. Gilbert worked with Coach Jones and staff for three years at Radford before following Jones to UNCG in 2021.
A Reading, Pennsylvania native, Gilbert was a student-athlete at Lebanon Valley College before joining Jones as a graduate student manager at Radford University. During his time at Radford, Gilbert spent countless hours building relationships with players on and off the court helping them develop as people and players. He was instrumental in the development of Carlik Jones who went on to be named Big South Player of the Year and went on to play in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets.
“Brett has done every job in our program leading up to this promotion and he’s earned the opportunity as an assistant coach,” mentioned head coach Jones. “He has dedicated his time to building relationships, most importantly with our players, as well as coaches and players in the community. He’s going to be a great coach and I’m excited to continue to watch him grow in our program.”
Brett will assist with all aspects of the program including player development, on-court coaching, recruiting, and opponent scouting.
Head Coach Mike Jones has announced the hiring of Bryant Stith as an assistant coach in July 2022.
Bryant comes to Greensboro from Norfolk, VA where he served the previous nine years as an assistant coach at Old Dominion University. Stith, a 10-year NBA veteran, brings a wealth of experience to UNCG, as he will assist with player development, on-court coaching, recruiting, and opponent scouting.
During his time at ODU, Stith was influential in guiding the Monarchs to a Conference USA Regular Season Championship, a Conference USA Tournament Championship, a NCAA Tournament appearance, making it to the NIT semifinal round, a first-ever Top 25 ranking, and a Vegas 16 Championship.
Before joining the staff at ODU, Stith was a successful high school coach and administrator at Brunswick High School in Virginia. His teams won state championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and advanced to the state title game seven straight years. While at Brunswick, Coach Stith coached Javonte Green who went on to play for Coach Jones at Radford. Javonte later went on to become the first NBA player Coach Jones helped to develop as a head coach, making his NBA debut with the Celtics in 2019.
“I’m so excited to be adding Bryant to our staff,” stated coach Jones. “He has a wealth of experience at all levels, obviously his playing ability and time in the NBA need little introduction, but I’m just as excited about the experiences he gained at the high school level and these past nine years at ODU. Coach Stith is a consummate professional who works to build true and honest relationships with everyone he comes across. I’ve had the privilege of coaching one of his players and now I can’t wait to get to work with him.”
The All-ACC performer and a 10-year NBA veteran, Stith was the 13th overall selection of the 1992 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets where he played eight years. He also played for the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring in 2002. He scored 5,946 career points, averaging 10.1 points per game for his NBA career and dished out 1,178 career assists, averaging 2.0 per game.
Stith played for Jeff Jones at the University of Virginia where he was the 1989 ACC Rookie of the Year. Stith finished his career in 1992 as Virginia’s all-time leading scorer with 2,516 career points. He earned first-team All-ACC honors three times and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National Invitation Tournament.
While at UVA, Stith played for the US national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, winning the bronze medal. He also helped lead the US national team to the silver medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle.
Stith is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Barbara Dilworth. They have four children, sons Brandan and B.J., who both attended ODU and were basketball student-athletes, and daughters, Bria and Brooke, who both attend East Carolina University as track and field student-athletes. Stith graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Sociology.