Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino officially announced the hiring of former Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter on Tuesday to join his staff as an assistant.
Jeter, who was a Nevada Las Vegas assistant the last two seasons, compiled a 184-170 record as Milwaukee coach from 2005-2016, including two NCAA tournament berths, two Horizon League tournament and regular season titles and Horizon League Coach of the Year in 2011.
“We are extremely excited to add Rob to our staff,” Pitino said in a statement. “He’s got a wealth of knowledge and experience that will make our program better. He knows the league and has terrific connections in the Midwest.”
The 48-year-old Pittsburgh native was a player and longtime assistant under Hall of Fame coach Bo Ryan. He played for Ryan at Platteville and also coached with Ryan at Platteville (1994-98), Milwaukee (1999-20010 and Wisconsin (2001-05).
Jeter replaces Kimani Young, who took a job on Danny Hurley’s staff at Connecticut recently.
Former Gophers guard Akeem Springs played with Jeter for two seasons at Milwaukee in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He and a few players left the program after Jeter was fired following a 20-13 season, which included wins against Minnesota and Wisconsin.
“He’s going to fit in real well with Coach Pitino as far as recruiting,” Springs said. “He did a real good job with the Midwest, as far as his connections there. I got the same type of feel that I got from Coach (Pitino) that I got from Jeter is that he’s a player’s coach. We always started our focus on defense and taking charges. On offense, we ran the swing offense. Guys who came from under Bo Ryan run the swing. But my last year, he changed it because he saw our pieces were different. Coach (Jeter) is a player’s coach and he wants to win. He’s going to run offenses that fit the team and get the best out of the team. I feel like Coach P gets that also. My year he did change some stuff up to fit me.”
Springs, who played one season with the Gophers in 2016-17, said Jeter would immediately be able to help current players develop their game this offseason.
“I think he can definitely fit the offensive part and player development part,” Springs said. “He can help guards and bigs. Coach has a lot of good knowledge. He’s a guy who during the winter, however much time you have, he would (encourage) us to come back and get our work in and get shots up. With skill development, he always took time before every practice to work on skill stuff. We always started with a pass and catch drill, a focus drill and a finishing drill. He was real big on skills stuff. I think he can help there and help recruiting for sure. I think he’s an all-around good fit.”
Jeter joins assistants Ben Johnson and Ed Conroy on Pitino’s staff. Conroy’s brother, Duffy, first worked with Jeter on Ryan’s staff at Wisconsin as a video coordinator (2001-03) and director of basketball (2004-05). He was as an assistant on Jeter’s Milwaukee staff from 2005-2015.