New Penn State basketball coach Mike Rhoades has named his coaching staff. Here’s a breakdown of the four men that will be assisting Rhoades
Crispin’s name is the one most familiar to Penn State fans.
He played from 1997-2001 and is the fourth-leading scorer in program history more than 22 years after playing his last college game, finishing 14 points shy of 2,000. He’s also fourth all-time in made 3-pointers and fifth in assists.
Crispin’s last season with Penn State basketball was his biggest.
In the 2000-01 season, Crispin averaged 19.5 points and 3.3 assists per game, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. That season is best remembered by Penn State fans for the team’s run to the Sweet 16, the last time the school has advanced that far. Crispin scored 21 points in seventh-seeded Penn State’s upset of second-seeded North Carolina in the Round of 32. Until this past March, that was Penn State’s most recent NCAA Tournament win.
Crispin had previously been the head coach at Division III Rowan for seven seasons, going 114-54 and making it to three NCAA Tournaments.
Along with his obvious ties to the University, Crispin is a fantastic offensive mind. Here are Rowan’s points per game numbers from each of Crispin’s seven seasons at Rowan:
Unlike Crispin and like every other Rhoades assistant, Martelli is coming from VCU. But like Crispin, Martelli is familiar with Pennsylvania basketball. His father is Phil Martelli, who the head coach at Philadelphia’s St. Joe’s for 24 seasons, making five NCAA Tournament trips, two sweet 16’s and an Elite Eight, ending with 444 wins.
Phil Martelli is now in the Big Ten as Michigan’s associate head coach under Juwan Howard.
Jimmy Martelli started working with Rhoades in 2006, assisting him at Division III Randolph-Macon for the 2006-07 season. From there, he began to work with Mike Rice, first at Robert Morris (2007-10) then at Rutgers (2010-13). Martelli resigned from Rutgers in the spring of 2013 after Rice was fired in disgrace.
Martelli returned to coaching in 2017, and worked under Rhoades for all six of his seasons at VCU as Director of Basketball operations. His knowledge of the Philadelphia area and recruiting scene is something that should excite Penn State fans.
Brunt was Rhoades’s right-hand man at VCU. Like Martelli, Brunt assisted Rhoades at Randolph-Macon, working there from 2003-05. After that, Brunt spent 10 seasons at Richmond, starting as Director of Operations and rising to associate head coach. After three seasons working with Jim Larranaga at Miami, Brunt returned to Richmond and rejoined Rhodes, this time at VCU. He worked there from 2018-this past season, assisting five of Rhoades’s six VCU teams and helping the Rams to three NCAA Tournaments.
Like Rhoades, Byres played at Lebanon Valley, where he was an All-American in 2005. Byres’s was an assistant coach at his alma mater for the 2006-07 season before joining Rhoades at Randolph-Macon, where he assisted from 2007-10. After stops at St. Francis (Pa.) (2010-11) and Radford (2011-14), Byres reunited with his old boss in 2014 at Rice. He was with Rhoades for all three of his seasons as Rice’s head coach and went with him to VCU, staying for all six seasons. Now, he’ll join Rhoades at Penn State.