Tennessee basketball assistant Desmond Oliver named next head coach of East Tennessee State

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Mike Wilson, Knoxville News Sentinel
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Desmond Oliver was hired as men's basketball coach of East Tennessee State, the school announced announced Monday.

Oliver spent the past six seasons as an assistant at Tennessee. He is the second Volunteers assistant to land a head coaching job this offseason. Kim English was hired at George Mason on March 23 after two seasons at the school.

East Tennessee State coach Jason Shay surprisingly resigned on March 30 after one season as head coach and six with the program. Shay and his players were criticized, including by the entire Tennessee Senate Republican Caucus, for the team's decision to kneel during the national anthem before its Feb. 15 game at Chattanooga.

Keys to the game: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 1 Gonzaga: How each can win

Party poopers?: Five reasons Baylor will ruin Gonzaga's perfect season

Oliver, 51, joined Rick Barnes' staff when Barnes was hired in April 2015. Mike Schwartz, the lone remaining assistant from last season's staff, joined a year later.

Oliver is the third coach hired off Barnes’ staff to be a head coach in the past two years, joining English and Rob Lanier. Lanier was hired by Georgia State two years ago.

Oliiver spent five seasons at Charlotte before he was hired at Tennessee. He has 26 years of assistant coach experience. Oliver started at Niagara from 1994-97. He also has worked at Texas A&M, Cornell, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, Georgia and Canisius.

Oliver played a key role in recruiting Grant Williams to Tennessee. Williams won back-to-back SEC Player of the Year awards and was picked by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. Oliver also headed UT's efforts to land Jaden Springer, the second-highest recruit to sign with Tennessee during Barnes' tenure.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee assistant Desmond Oliver hired by East Tennessee State