University of Texas San Antonio head men’s basketball coach Brooks Thompson announced Wednesday that Shenton Wai has been promoted to assistant coach, while Jeff Luster has joined the staff as director of operations effective immediately.
“Shenton and Jeff both have a strong work ethic and their vast knowledge of the game will be an asset to our student-athletes and coaching staff,” Thompson said. “Shenton has served our staff very well over the last six years and I have no doubts that his excellent work will carry over to his new role. Additionally, I have known Jeff for a very long time and I am thrilled to add someone with his experience to our program.”
“I am extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity that Coach Thompson has bestowed upon me,” Wai said. “The support that he and the coaching staff have provided has been nothing short of phenomenal. Having been blessed with a number of great mentors through the years, namely RC Buford, Brett Brown, Brian Goorjian, Bill Tomlinson and Bruce Ford, I intend to take full advantage of their teachings and do whatever I can to help UTSA reach the pinnacle of Conference USA.”
“I am very happy and excited to join the Roadrunners family,” said Luster. “I want to thank Coach Thompson and Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey for giving me this opportunity. I’ve known Brooks since our days at Littleton (Colo.) High School and I couldn’t pass up a chance to team up with him again and work alongside the great coaching staff and student-athletes that he has assembled here at UTSA.”
Wai spent the previous six seasons as a member of Thompson’s staff, serving as the team operations coordinator. In that role, he was responsible for film exchange and assisting with recruiting coordination and on-campus visits, team travel, academics and compliance.
In his six years on the Roadrunners’ bench, UTSA has registered the school’s first-ever NCAA postseason victory in any sport, captured one league championship, made four conference tournament appearances and recorded the most successful three-year stretch (57 wins) in two decades. Eight players have earned all-conference honors and two have been tabbed league freshman of the year (Melvin Johnson III, 2010; Jeromie Hill, 2011).
Wai joined the Roadrunners after spending the 2008-09 season as a basketball operations intern with the San Antonio Spurs. While with the NBA franchise, Wai scouted, built and maintained the 2009 draft prospect and free agent DVD library for NCAA, NBDL and international players. Wai also coordinated travel for draft workouts, mini camps, training camps and open gym summer workouts, as well as assisting in the day-to-day operations of the front office.
Prior to joining the Spurs, Wai was a marketing and communications executive with the National Basketball League in Australia from 2004-08. He was responsible for the management of the NBL licensing program and official team gear and merchandise. Wai also managed multi-million dollar sponsorships for several companies and organized corporate events such as golf outings, trade show exhibits, dinners, press conferences and tournaments.
From 2001-04, Wai was an assistant coach and advance and talent scout for Sydney, helping the Kings win back-to-back NBL Championships in 2003-04.
Wai also coached a junior boys team, Nunawading Spectres, in 2000, a representative-level (highest level) club that produced Olympian and former NBA player Shane Heal. In 2003, he served as head coach for the Australian team that participated in the Maccabi Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
A former player, Wai was a member of the Melbourne Tigers junior squad from 1991-93. He began playing club basketball in 1989 for Ashwood and began coaching the team one year later at the age of 13.
Wai earned a bachelor of business management degree in human resource and manufacturing from Victoria University in 1999. The Melbourne native graduated from Victoria with an associate degree in business operations management in 1996 and earned a Victorian Certificate of Education from Swinburne Secondary College in 1994.
He is married to the former Lisa Garza and the couple is expecting their first child this fall.
Meanwhile, Luster brings more than 20 years of college basketball experience to the staff and he comes to UTSA after spending the previous five seasons as the director of operations at North Texas. There he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program, including travel, meals, camps and budgeting as well as video operations and special projects.
Prior to his time in Denton, Luster was a member of Neil Dougherty’s staff at TCU for six seasons, including three as the director of operations and three as an assistant coach.
Overall, Luster has spent more than 20 years in college basketball as a player, coach and operations director. Before his stint with the Horned Frogs, he served as the director of operations at Colorado for the 2001-02 season and as an assistant coach from 1999-2000.
Between those stops, he served as the associate head coach at his alma mater, Tabor (Kan.) College, where he helped lead the Bluejays to the 2001 NAIA Sweet 16 in his lone season. He also spent time coaching at Central (Kan.) College, McPherson (Kan.) College and Lamar (Kan.) Community College as an assistant.
As a player, Luster was a second-team All-Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference guard before graduating from Tabor in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native graduated from Littleton High School, where he teamed up with Thompson on the hardwood, in 1990.