Vanderbilt Staff Update

Vanderbilt men’s basketball head coach Bryce Drew has announced the addition of Jake Diebler, Omar Mance, Roger Powell, Jr., Casey Shaw, and Luke Simons to his coaching staff.  Powell, Jr., joins the staff as associate head coach, Diebler and Shaw as assistant coaches, Mance as the Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel and Simons as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations.

Drew and his new staff have a combined 31 years of playing and coaching experience in the NBA and in FIBA (International Basketball Federation), 16 regular season conference championships, 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, 11 conference tournament championships, four NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, three coaches with NBA experience, Two NBA Draft picks, one NCAA Final Four appearance, and one NCAA national title game appearance.

“I am excited to have this great group of men to be joining our staff here at Vanderbilt,” said Drew.  “All are outstanding leaders of men and very knowledgable in the game of basketball. It is a blessing to have them part of the Vanderbilt family and to Anchor Down with them.”

Roger Powell, Jr.
Former University of Illinois standout and Valparaiso assistant basketball coach Roger Powell, Jr., joins the Vanderbilt basketball staff as associate head coach after a successful five-year stint with current Commodore head coach Bryce Drew at Valparaiso.

“Coach Powell is a former NBA player who brings great energy to the program,” said Drew.  “He is fantastic on the floor with the players and does a tremendous job on the road recruiting with players being drawn to his positive personality. After coaching with Roger for the last five years, I am very happy he is at Vanderbilt.”

Powell has helped lead the Crusaders to 122 wins in his five seasons as a member of the Crusader coaching staff, including 28 victories in 2014-2015 and a school-record 30 wins in 2015-16.  Valpo captured the Horizon League regular season title in four of his first five seasons, while the Crusaders’ 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 squads also won the Horizon League tournament championship.  The Crusaders have appeared in the postseason in each of Powell’s five seasons on staff, making two trips to the NCAA Tournament, two to the Postseason NIT and one to the CIT.  Powell was named the top assistant coach in the Horizon League by Next Up Recruits in the summer of 2013.

With the Crusaders, Powell worked with both the post and perimeter players in skill development.  He also is heavily involved with the Crusaders’ recruiting efforts.  In the summer of 2013, Powell served as head coach of an Athletes in Action team which toured Lithuania, and in the summer of 2015, he led an AIA team as head coach on a tour of Poland.

“I am extremely excited and blessed to be a part of Vanderbilt University,” said Powell, Jr.  “The program has everything I could have hoped for and more in a university.  Vanderbilt University has outstanding academics, a great basketball tradition and is located in a truly amazing city.  I look forward to being a part of the staff that will help continue to elevate this program to the next level.”

A three-year starter for the Illini, Powell earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten recognition in each of his final two seasons after being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team as a sophomore.  Powell helped Illinois to three Big Ten regular season titles and a pair of Big Ten tournament championships during his time with the Illini, as well as berths in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.

Powell’s career at Illinois culminated in his senior year of 2004-2005, when he started all 39 games that season for the Illini, averaging career bests of 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.  Powell helped Illinois to the most successful season in program history, as the Illini won 29 straight games to open the season en route to finishing 37-2, spent most of the season ranked #1 in the nation and advanced to the national championship game of the NCAA Tournament.  Powell closed his four-year Illinois career with 1,178 points, among the top-30 scorers in Illini history, and 531 rebounds.

Following his collegiate career, Powell earned a spot in the Seattle SuperSonics training camp before eventually playing the 2005-2006 season for the Rockford Lightning of the CBA, where he earned CBA Rookie of the Year accolades.  He then made the roster of the Utah Jazz for the 2006-2007 NBA season and spent the first half of the season with the Jazz before joining the Arkansas Rimrockers of the NBDL.  Powell concluded the 2007 season with the Rimrockers, leading the NBDL with 22.3 points per game and earning the league’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award, which is awarded to the player who best represents the ideals of character and conduct on and off the court.

Powell spent time in the training camp of the Chicago Bulls in both 2008 and 2010, and spent much of his last four year professional-playing years abroad.  He played in the top leagues in Italy (Teramo Basket), Israel (Hapoel Jerusalem), Spain (CB Murcia) and France (JDA Dijon).  In his final professional season, Powell played for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners of the Basketball Bundesliga in Germany, where he helped the Skyliners to a second-place regular season finish and a berth in the league semifinals.

Off the court, Powell founded RPJ Ministries Organization, which mentors and trains young leaders to be Godly examples on their sports team and school campuses.  He also founded Integrity Sports Corporation, a company focused on building basketball skills and integrity of high school and junior high athletes.  Powell is a 2005 graduate of the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign with a degree in speech communications, and also received his master’s degree in Sports Administration from Valparaiso University in 2016.  While also at Valpo, he received a certificate in Sports Media.

Powell and his wife, Tara, have a daughter, Bria (5), and a son, Liam (2).

The Powell File
High School: Joliet West
Illinois (2001-05)
Valparaiso (2016)
Education: B.A., Speech Communications, 2005
Masters in Sports Administration, 2016
Playing Experience:
2001-05 – Illinois
2005–2006 – Rockford Lightning (CBA)
2006 – Utah Jazz (NBA)
2006–2007- Arkansas Rimrockers (D-League)
2007–2008 – Siviglia Wear Teramo (Italy)
2008–2009 – Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
2009–2010 – Murcia (Spain)
2010 – JDA Dijon (France)
2010–2011 – Skyliners Frankfurt (Germany)
Coaching Experience:
2016-present – Vanderbilt Associate Head Coach
2011-16 (5 years)– Valparaiso Assistant Coach
Hometown:  Joliet, Illinois
Wife: Tara
Children: Bria (5), Liam (2)

Jake Diebler
Jake Diebler joins the Vanderbilt coaching staff as an assistant coach after spending three years as the video coordinator for Ohio State basketball and the previous two seasons as an assistant coach on Bryce Drew’s staff at Valparaiso, where he helped Drew and the Crusaders to Horizon League regular season titles in 2012 and 2013.

“Coach Diebler has great experience in basketball well beyond his age,” said Drew.  “The son of a coach, he has a passion for the game and in improving others, which our perimeter players will benefit from.”

While at Ohio State, Diebler helped the Buckeyes advance to two NCAA Tournaments and also helped mentor the National Defensive Player of the Year in 2014, Aaron Craft, and the 2nd overall pick in 2015 NBA Draft and 2015 first-team All-American, D’Angelo Russell.  In the offseasons in Columbus, Diebler would train Craft, Russell, Evan Turner, Mike Conley, Jared Sullinger, Greg Oden, his brother Jon Diebler, Deshaun Thomas, Byron Mullins, and others in on-the-court workouts.

Prior to his stint with the Buckeyes, Diebler coached at Valparaiso with Bryce Drew, where he was part of a staff which helped lead Valparaiso to 22 wins and the regular-season championship in 2012, the first by Valpo since joining the Horizon League. Diebler also helped the Crusaders to a berth in the 2012 Postseason National Invitational Tournament.  In the 2012-13 season, the Crusaders posted a 26-8 overall record, won the Horizon League regular season championship for consecutive years, and a berth in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Diebler served as director of basketball operations during the 2010-11 season, helping the Crusaders to a 23-win season, finishing just one game out of the regular-season title, and a berth in the Tournament. As a student assistant in 2009-10, Diebler helped guide the Crusaders to 15 wins and a fourth-place finish in the Horizon League standings.

“I’m blessed to be a part of the rich tradition at Vanderbilt University,” said Diebler.  “Coach Drew has established himself as one of the best coaches in the country and I’m looking forward to reuniting with him and being a part of the future of Vanderbilt Basketball.”

Known as one of the Crusaders’ hardest-working players on both ends of the court during his time as a player, Diebler set a Valpo Division I record by starting each and every one of the Crusaders’ 98 games over the final three seasons of his career. He also had a string of 278-consecutive minutes played over seven games in the final half of his senior season, believed to be a Valpo record as well.

Diebler ranked among the Horizon League Top 10 in a trio of categories as a senior, finishing fourth in minutes played (33.8/game), sixth in 3-pointers made (1.8/game) and eighth in steals (1.3/game). He finished his Crusader career 10th in Valpo history with 130 career steals and 16th all-time at Valpo with 229 career assists.  He also holds the all-time Ohio high school career records in assists and steals.

Also a standout in the classroom, Diebler earned Academic All-League honors and Horizon League Academic Honor Roll mention during his career, as well as being named to the NABC Honors Court. Diebler graduated with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Valparaiso in May 2009 and with an MBA in 2011. His brother Jon, played for the Buckeyes from 2008-11, and is the Big Ten All-time leader in made threes and the all-time leading scorer in Ohio High School basketball history.  Jon was also the 51st pick in 2011 NBA Draft.

Coaching runs in the family for Diebler.  His father Keith, coached high school basketball in the state of Ohio for almost 40 years, while his older brother Jeremiah coached high school basketball as well.

The Diebler File
High School: Upper Sandusky (Ohio)
Valparaiso (2005-2009)
Valparaiso (2010-2011)
Education: B.A., Marketing, 2009; Masters in Business Administration, 2011
Playing Experience:
2005-09 – Valparaiso
Coaching Experience:
2016-present – Vanderbilt Assistant Coach
2013-2016 (3 years)– Ohio State Video Coordinator
2011-2013 (2 years) – Valparaiso – Assistant Coach
2010-2011 (1 year) – Valparaiso – Director of Operations
2009-2010 (1 year) – Valparaiso – Student Assistant
Hometown:  Upper Sandusky, Ohio

Omar Mance
Omar Mance joins the Vanderbilt basketball staff as the Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at Liberty University.

“Coach Mance is a great addition to our staff and we are thrilled to have him,” said Drew.  “He has great connections in the south and a tremendous reputation across the country.”

While at Liberty, Mance helped the Flames clinch the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye in the 2016 Big South Championship, finishing 10-8 in conference play. Liberty’s win total marked the first time the program had garnered 10 Big South victories since the 2010-11 season. He was also instrumental in Liberty’s Big South slate that was highlighted by a seven-game win streak, marking the fourth-longest streak in program history. The Flames entered postseason play second in the conference in scoring defense, holding opponents to 68.0 points per game. As the recruiting coordinator this past season, he helped Liberty sign one of its most highly touted recruiting classes in school history.  Mance was also a member of the 2016 Big South Coach of the Year Ritchie McKay’s staff.

“I am so thrilled to join such a prestigious institution and rich basketball tradition here at Vanderbilt,” said Mance.  “I am excited to work under the leadership of Coach Drew, who throughout his career has proven to be a winner, champion, and most of all, having great character. He’s one of the best young coaches in the country, and I am excited to work with him and the staff here. I’ve always admired the high academic reputation of Vanderbilt and its great basketball tradition. I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to work with this staff and with these outstanding student-athletes.”

Prior to coming to Liberty, Mance spent three seasons as an assistant at Army under head coach Zach Spiker.  While at Army, Mance helped lead the Black Knights to its most successful Patriot League season at 8-6 and its best overall regular season in 28 years at 16-15. Army’s eight regular season wins in Patriot League play marked a school record, securing the team’s first winning season in league history. The Black Knights also garnered Army’s first overall winning season since 1984-85, while starting 4 freshman in the rotation throughout the entire conference season in 2012-13. The Black Knights won the coveted “Star Game” against Navy in back-to-back seasons, becoming the first coaching staff since the Mike Krzyzewski era to accomplish the feat.  Mance worked with the program’s guards.

During his tenure, he coached the Patriot League Rookie of the Year as well as three Patriot League all-rookie team members. Mance also helped develop two-time first team All-Patriot League performer Ella Ellis, who finished his career fifth all-time in scoring with 1,558 point and 190 three-pointers.  In addition to working with position players, Mance also served as a recruiting coordinator and was instrumental in game preparation.

Before arriving at West Point for the 2010-11 season, Mance served as the head varsity coach for the North Shore Country Day (Ill.) boys’ team. In his two seasons, Mance led the squad to its two best finishes in school history, winning 16 games and making the regional championship game in 2009. Mance guided seven players to all-league honors and placed two of his charges on the honorable mention all-state squad. He also served as the school’s Dean of Multicultural Affairs during the 2009-10 school year.

Prior to his work at Country Day, Mance was on the staff of his alma mater, Rice. He served as Director of Basketball Operations from January-May 2007 before being named an assistant coach for the 2007-08 season. Mance served as the Owls’ recruiting coordinator and helped land the first Houston public school recruit to attend Rice in 40 years and also recruited former Liberty great and 2011 Big South Player of the Year, Jesse Sanders, who committed to Rice before becoming a Flame. In addition to his coaching and recruiting duties, Mance oversaw the Owls’ academic progress. Under his watch, Rice posted a 98 percent graduation rate, the best mark in the country.

Before entering the collegiate ranks, Mance was the athletic director at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Ill., from 2005-07. He oversaw every aspect of each of the school’s programs and also served as the head coach of the eighth grade boys’ basketball squad. While working at the school, Mance also helped found the Robison-Mance Group, a company that worked with leagues, camps and teams to provide mentoring services to more than 900 youth in the Chicago area. Mance was the co-director and coach of the RMG Elite AAU team.

In 2006 and 2008, Mance worked with Athletes in Action in Nairobi, Kenya. He toured schools, academies and orphanages while helping coach college and club teams. The trip to Africa was just one of his international experiences. Mance played on professional tours in Europe, Asia and Canada during the summers of 2004 and 2005. He was named the tournament MVP of the International Cup in Moscow in 2005.

Mance started his coaching career as an assistant coach at Martin Luther King High School in Atlanta, Ga. He helped the squad to a 5-A state final four in 2004. Mance worked for his father, Eric, an Albany (Ga.) Hall of Fame Inductee who has won more than 500 games in his career.

The Stone Mountain, Ga. native played one season at LSU before finishing his career at Rice. Mance was a second-team All-WAC pick in 2003 and was named the Owls’ MVP in both 2002 and 2003. Just as decorated in the classroom, Mance was a two-time member of the WAC All-Academic Team and was named the Rice Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2002 and 2003. Following his senior season, Mance was honored with the Bob Quin Award as Rice’s Top Male Student-Athlete and was a finalist for the Creamland Dairies National College Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year award.

A three-time all-state performer at Lithonia High School, Mance was the 1998 Metro Atlanta Player of the Year and the state’s AAA Player of the Year. He finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and graduated as his class’ valedictorian while playing for his father, legendary coach Eric Mance. He played for the Atlanta Celtic AAU program and helped his team to a pair of national championships.

Mance earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Rice in 2003. He and his wife Rebecca have one son, Zion (2).

The Mance File
High School: Lithonia High School
LSU (1998-1999)
Rice (1999-2003)
Education: B.A., Mathematics, 2003
Playing Experience:
1998-99 – LSU
1999-2003 – Rice
Summer 2004 – China
Summer 2005 – Russia
Coaching Experience:
2016-present – Vanderbilt Director of Operations/Recruiting Coordinator
2013-16 (3 years)– Liberty Assistant Coach
2010-13 (3 years) – Army – Assistant Coach
2008-10 (2 years) – North Shore Country Day H.S. – Head Coach
2007-08 (1 year) – Rice –  Assistant Coach
2007 (1 year) Rice  – Director of Basketball Operations
Hometown:  Stone Mountain, Ga.
Wife: Rebecca
Children: Zion (2)

Casey Shaw
Casey Shaw joins the Vanderbilt basketball staff as an assistant coach after a successful playing career as a professional athlete in the NBA/FIBA and as a student-athlete at the University of Toledo.

“Coach Shaw is a former NBA draft pick who has a wealth of experience and knowledge from his playing career and through the relationships he has made in the NBA,” said Drew.  “Being 6’10, he will be outstanding in working with our post players and developing them.”

Shaw’s wealth of basketball experience began in 1998 when he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 37th overall pick after a stellar four-year career at Toledo, where he ranks sixth all-time with 1,562 points and fifth with 871 rebounds.  He also ranks second in Toledo history with 107 blocked shots and sixth in field goal percentage (.546).  He was named second team All-MAC in 1996-97 and 1997-98, and made the MAC All-Freshman team in 1994-95. He also was an outstanding student, earning third-team Academic All-America honors as a senior in 1997-98, and making the Academic All-MAC team in his junior and senior seasons.

After a stint in the NBA, Shaw began what became an 11-year international professional career in 2000 with stops in the Italian and Spanish leagues along the way.

“Having the opportunity to play professional basketball for 13 seasons was a dream come true and I am thankful that I can now use all those years of experience to be a better coach for players who hope to realize that same dream after their Vanderbilt playing days are over,” said Shaw.

Prior to his arrival in Nashville, Shaw worked at Balasa Dinverno Foltz, LLC, in Chicago, where he served as the Director of the Professional Athlete Service Team, providing business, career, and investment guidance to professional athletes.  He is also a member of the National Board of Directors for the NBA Retired Players Association, which assists NBA players in their transition from playing to life after the game.

On the court, Shaw was the Director and Head Coach of the Athletes in Action Basketball Camp from 2003-2010, served as a Global All-Star Challenge Head Coach in 2012, and coached the Midwest Elite AAU team in Merrillville, Ind., in 2013 and the 180 Elite AAU team out of Chicago from 2015-16.  In addition, he served as a National Basketball Developmental League Tryouts Coach and was a member of the NBA Assistant Coaches Program in 2014.

Shaw graduated with an undergraduate degree in Physical Education, from the University of Toledo, in 1997, and a Master’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Moody Graduate School in Chicago, Ill., in 2011.  He also graduated from the Northwestern University School of Continuing and Professional Education to become a Certified Financial Planner in 2012.

Shaw and his wife, Dana, have four children, Anna (15), Isaiah (14), Caleb (13), and Luke (10).

The Shaw File
High School: Lebanon High School
Toledo (1994-98)
Moody Theological Seminary (2009-11)
Northwestern University School of Continuing and Professional Education (2011-12)
Education: B.A., Education, 1997; Master in Biblical Studies, 2011; Certified Financial Planner Certification (2012)
Playing Experience:
1994-98 – Toledo
1999 – Philadelphia 76ers
1999-00 – Tisettanta Cantu (Italy)
2000-01 – Telit Trieste (Italy)
2001 – Wurth Roma (Italy)
2001-02 – Armani Jeans Milano (Italy)
2002 – Sacramento Kings
2004-05 – Eurofiditalia R. Calabria (Italy)
2005-06 – Caja Banca (Spain)
2006-07 – Tisettanta Cantu (Italy)
2007-08 – Armani Jeans Milano (Italy)
2008-10 – Scavolini Spar Pesaro (Italy)
2010-11 – Banca Tercas Teramo (Italy)
Hometown:  Lebanon, Ohio
Wife: Dana
Children: Anna (15), Isaiah (14), Caleb (13), and Luke (10)

Luke Simons
Luke Simons joins the Commodores as the Director of Basketball Operations after spending one season with Bryce Drew at Valparaiso in the same capacity, where he helped the Crusaders to a single-season win record, a Horizon League championship, and a postseason NIT finals appearance.

“Coach Simons has a very good background in basketball operations from his previous positions,” said Drew. “He is extremely organized and efficient while handling big workloads.”

Before beginning his tenure with Drew in 2015 at Valparaiso, Simons spent nearly a decade working with Athletes in Action as an international team director and coach, as well as a regional coordinator. In his time with AIA, Simons helped assemble and direct multiple international competitive tours throughout Europe and Asia. He also created Captains Camp, an AIA leadership initiative to serve influencers in basketball.

“My wife and I could not be more thrilled to join the Vanderbilt family and its rich history of excellence in athletics and academics,” said Simons.  “We look forward to making Nashville our home, and are excited to carry the Vanderbilt tradition of excellence throughout the country. Anchor Down!”

Outside of AIA, Simons served as director of operations for Team USA at the last three World University Games and helped found the International Basketball Coaches Experience, held annually at the NCAA Final Four. He also brings a good deal of coaching experience with him, having worked as an assistant coach and director of player development for the Mongolian national team – which he helped lead to the final round of 2015 Asian Games – since 2012. Simons also previously spent one season as interim head coach at Black Hawk College and five years as an assistant coach at West Lafayette H.S.

The Simons File
High School: Shelbyville High School
College: Purdue
B.A., Movement and Sports Science
Coaching Experience:
2001-2006: West Lafayette High School
2006-2007: Black Hawk College
2007-2012: Athletes in Action
2012-2014: Mongolian National Team
2015-2016: Valparaiso University
Hometown: Shelbyville, IN

All photos courtesy Vanderbilt Athletics

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