ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The new faces on the University at Albany men’s basketball team don’t stop at the guys on the floor. Head coach Dwayne Killings has revamped his coaching staff, which includes one notable addition with quite the résumé.
Assistant coach Jim Whitesell comes to the Capital Region from the University at Buffalo, where he served as head coach the last four seasons – three of which the Bulls finished top-20 in the nation in scoring.
Whitesell’s been around championship cultures, winning two MAC titles as an assistant on Nate Oats’ staff at UB, and he believes in the direction Killings is taking the Danes.
“(I was) really impressed with the vision he had, with the staff, their youth, what he thought this year could be and, obviously, there’s a new facility on campus, which is fantastic,” said Whitesell. “All those things, and the more we got to know each other, the more I thought, “This could be a lot of fun.” And it has been; I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s a great group of kids to work with. I’ve enjoyed every day coming here, gettin’ after it and trying to help a little bit.”
The Iowa Falls, Iowa native brings 28 total seasons of heading coaching experience, including 11 at the Division I level. Killings believes that experience is a huge asset.
“To put us (the coaching staff) whole and put us all together, we needed a really seasoned voice in our locker room, in our office; he’s been great to have,” said Killings. “I’ve been very appreciative of his energy, his experience and his wisdom. And you know what? Dude’s won a lot of games. When we hired him and announced it, I just got hundreds of text messages, like, “Hey, great hire. Hey, great person. Hey, he’s gonna help your kids. Hey, you’re lucky to have him.” So, that made us feel really good. And our guys really like him. He pushes them to be their best selves and get out of their comfort zone.”
The three other new members of Killings’ coaching staff include assistant KJ Baptiste, video coordinator Matt Cerruti, who played under Killings during the 2021-’22 season and graduate assistant John Weigner.