In this series, we’ll be giving props to some of the best assistants in college basketball.
For each conference, I polled at least 20 coaches (primarily assistants) and asked for them to name the top assistant coaches in their respective league. Is it a perfect way of determining the elite assistants? Maybe not, but it seems far more accurate than any other method.
I’ve also made sure to include some info on each coach that’s recognized — as well as quotes from both their boss and another assistant in the league.
Dave Klatsky, Colgate | The 2003 Penn graduate set the school’s single-season assist record in the 2000-01 campaign. He was an assistant at Stevens Tech for four years while also working in finance for Knight Capital Group. Klatsky was hired as an assistant in 2011 by Matt Langel.
“Dave was an extremely successful point guard in his playing days. His vision of how the game should be played and his understanding of what it takes to be a champion carry over to how he teaches and helps develop our student-athletes. His intelligence and the analytical mind that helped him to success on Wall Street in his previous profession provides a unique, creative and valuable insight into today’s world of advanced basketball analytics and statistics. Ultimately, however, I believe that over nine years, without Dave’s high character, strong work ethic, competitive instincts and continued commitment to our program, Colgate basketball would not be what it is today.” – Colgate coach Matt Langel
“Dave enters his 10th season at Colgate. He is a big part of the winning program and Langel trusts him. He is a very good recruiter and very passionate about player development. I respect his loyalty to stay with Coach Langel that long and build the winning program together.” – Patriot League assistant
Curtis Wilson, Boston University | He graduated from Adelphi in 1991 and is eighth on the school’s all-time scoring list. Wilson has been with Joe Jones at BU since 2011 after working for Jones’ brother, James, at Yale for 12 seasons. Wilson was also an assistant for three years at Adelphi and five seasons at Vermont.
“Curt is like having that older cousin in your family who tells you all the things you have to know as you’re growing up. Wisdom and knowledge is what comes to mind when I think of Curt. He is an excellent bench coach who really understands the game and how to use our personnel. He’s a terrific evaluator — outstanding skill development coach who truly cares about our players. Our guys love him and so does our staff .” – Boston University coach Joe Jones
“Curtis recruits well yearly and BU always seems to have the manpower to sustain injuries and transfers better than most in our league. He’s a guy who has been integral to their success.” – Patriot League assistant
Scott Greenman, American | Greenman graduated from Princeton in 2006 and was a first-team All-Ivy selection as a senior. He played a year professionally in Israel, then spent time as an assistant at Princeton (2007-10) and Georgetown (2010-13) before arriving at American in 2013.
“Scott has it all. He’s ready to be a head coach, is an awesome recruiter, communicates easily with coaches and prospects and is an excellent teacher. I lean heavily upon him during games. He has a major influence in every aspect of our program, I don’t know what I’d do without him.” – American coach Mike Brennan
“Scottie is a veteran assistant of the league who is smart and personable and has kept American in the mix for a title year after year. He’s a guy who does a lot of everything. Very well-rounded.” – Patriot League assistant
Mike Jordan, (Formerly) Colgate* | Jordan was a three-time first-team All-Ivy selection who graduated from Penn in 2000. He played professionally in nine different countries from 2000 to 2011 and was then hired at Colgate in 2012. He just recently joined the Drexel staff.
“MJ’s basketball and life experiences provide him with an extraordinarily unique perspective that has been invaluable to our program in his eight years at Colgate. He brings the same passion and love for competition to the office and the practice court that he did as an Ivy League Player of the Year, a Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Famer and a 10-year professional player. It’s inspiring, contagious and has benefited so many of the individuals that get to spend time with him. Arguably most important to MJ’s ability to be an outstanding coach and mentor, though, is how he models a desire to grow, learn and improve — all the while being extremely comfortable, confident and genuine with who he is and what he represents.” – Colgate coach Matt Langel
“He’s a guy who really helps players maximize their potential and compete. He does a great job connecting with the players and developing them.” – Patriot League assistant
Jon Perry, Navy* | The West Virginia native played four years at East Tennessee State (1998-2002) and then became a grad assistant at his alma mater. He was then the video coordinator at Penn State for four years before spending two as the director of basketball operations. After three seasons (2010-13) as an assistant at D-2 Quincy, he joined the Navy staff in 2013.
“Jon is a tireless worker who has a great passion for the game. He is an outstanding teacher on the floor and loves spending time with our players. There is not a task he doesn’t welcome and excels in all aspects of basketball. He will be an outstanding head coach soon!” – Navy coach Ed DeChellis
“He does a great job. That’s a really difficult job, and Jon works, is smart and also can recruit and develop guys.” – Patriot League assistant
Ivo Simovic, Loyola Maryland* | The native of Belgrade, Serbia has been a college basketball assistant since 2015, when he joined the Hartford staff. He spent a couple years at Hartford, one at Charlotte (2017-18) and has been at Loyola since 2018. Before that, Simovic was the head coach and sports director for eight years at CB Espacio Torrelodones in Spain. Simovic was the Torrelodones’ head coach in Liga EBA from 2007-2009 and he then became the general manager and head coach of the organization’s U-18 and U-20 teams. Simovic also served as an international scout for the San Antonio Spurs and was an assistant with the Spurs’ NBA Summer League team for two years. He spent the first seven years of his professional career as head coach and recruiting coordinator for the Red Star in Belgrade.
“Ivo is an absolute cornerstone in the program we are building. His ability to cultivate authentic relationships throughout the world has helped us advance the mission of our team and our university in a transcending way. The guys love him! Ivo has a wealth of head-coaching experience, internationally, and I truly believe he’s going to be a great Division I head coach soon.” – Loyola Maryland coach Tavaras Hardy
“He obviously has overseas connections that allow him to recruit a different caliber of player. But he’s not just a recruiter. The guy can coach.” – Patriot League assistant
*Three-way tie for fourth place.