New men’s basketball coach Nate Oats has announced his coaching staff, with the additions of Jim Whitesell, Donyell Marshall, and Bryan Hodgson, bringing in a trio of experienced coaches with qualifications that include Division I head coaching experience and NBA playing experience.
Jim Whitesell joins the staff as Associate Head Coach. Whitesell most recently spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at St. John’s, helping lead the Red Storm to the NCAA Tournament last year. Whitesell has spent 24 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels prior to his time with the Billikens, and brings 34 years of collegiate coaching experience to UB.
Whitesell served as Associate Head Coach for the nationally-ranked Billikens during a pair of NCAA Tournament runs in 2011-12 and 2012-13, where SLU’s combined record was 54-15. Hired by late Saint Louis head coach Rick Majerus, Whitesell was a part of a record-setting campaign at SLU in 2012-13, where the Billikens posted an all-time best 28-7 mark, captured the Atlantic 10 regular-season and championship tournament title, reached the NCAA Third Round and finished the season with a national No. 13/16 ranking. In 2011-12, Whitesell helped Saint Louis post a 26-8 record, the third-most wins in program history. The Billikens earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and topped Memphis in the Second Round.
Whitesell joined SLU after spending the previous seven seasons as the head coach at Loyola (Chicago). Prior to his time with the Ramblers, Whitesell was head coach at NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.) (1992-2004) and NCAA Division III Elmhurst College (Ill.) (1987-92). He amassed a career record of 387-301 in 24 seasons. Whitesell also served in assistant coaching roles at North Dakota (1982-83 – graduate assistant), Ellsworth C.C. (Iowa) (1983-84), Wabash Valley C.C. (Iowa) (1984-85) and Minnesota State (1985-87).
Whitesell guided the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers to 109 victories in seven seasons, including a 21-win campaign in 2006-07, which was the program’s first 20-win season since 1985.
“Jim has a wealth of experience as a Division I head coach and he has run a successful program before,” said Oats. “With this being my first head coaching job at this level I really felt I needed someone who I can lean on and get advice from. He will bring us great experience in all aspects of the program.”
Marshall, who spent 15 seasons playing in the NBA, spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Rider University, helping the Broncs to a 21-12 record and a 15-5 mark in conference play this past year, culminating with an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational.
Prior to joining the Broncs, Marshall was an assistant coach at George Washington and coached in the professional ranks as he served as an assistant coach with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Developmental League.
Marshall was selected fourth overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was traded in 1995 to the Golden State Warriors, where he played until 2000. Marshall also spent time with the Utah Jazz, the Chicago Bulls, the Toronto Raptors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Seattle SuperSonics and finally the Philadelphia 76ers. In 2005, Marshall tied the NBA record for three pointers in a game with 12, an honor he holds with Kobe Bryant.
Marshall played his college basketball at the University of Connecticut from 1991-1994 and his number was honored by UConn at Gampel Pavilion in 2007.
“Donyell is a guy who has all of the credentials as a player and now he has proved to be one of the up and coming coaches in this business,” said Oats. “He is humble, he is hungry and he is ready to work. His experience in the NBA will help him with recruiting and he will be able to work both with our big men and our shooters. He is someone our players will immediately look up to.”
Hodgson comes to UB after spending the last two years at Midland College, where he helped lead the team to a six-win turnaround during the 2014-15 season. He helped manage all aspects of the recruitment for Midland and conducted individual skill development workouts and in-season team practice sessions.
A Western New York native, Hodgson served as an assistant coach from 2010 through 2013 at Jamestown Community College, where he also helped turn around a program upon his arrival. He coached 14 players who received scholarships to four-year schools after their graduation from JCC, coaching nine all-region players during his time.
Hodgson played two seasons at Jamestown Community College, serving as a two-year captain, before heading to the Fredonia State, where he finished his education and served as an assistant coach. He is the founder of the I-90 Elite AAU Basketball Team, assisting a number of players earning college scholarships.
Hodgson also has served as a counselor at a number of prestigious camps, including Duke, Maryland, West Virginia, Syracuse, Michigan State, amongst others. He has worked the Duke camp for the last six years.
“We felt like we needed a young energetic guy that just wants to work hard and Bryan brings all of those qualifications,” said Oats. “He is from this area so this is home for him and I really wanted a guy that is from here to help us build on the local connections. He is going to be unbelievable in recruiting with his personality and his recruiting connections.”
“I would have never envisioned being able to get a staff of this high-level and I think this is a killer staff in all aspects and I cannot wait to begin working with these guys,” Oats added.
Photo Courtesy Buffalo