Rick Barnes will be looking for another assistant coach, as Desmond Oliver has been named the new head coach at ETSU. Oliver has been mentioned in multiple coaching searches over the past few years, but now gets the shot he’s been working for.
It has been a confusing five days for the Johnson City community, as former head coach Jason Shay resigned last week, after posting a 13-12 record this past season. There have been numerous rumors floating around about the exact reason Shay resigned, but the buccaneers moved quickly in finding his replacement.
Oliver has spent the last six seasons with Rick Barnes and Tennessee, where they’ve had multiple seasons of success. Through his time in Knoxville and previous stops, Oliver has built up a reputation in recruiting and being a constant factor for the on-court success of many Tennessee players.
Just last week, former Tennessee assistant Kim English was introduced as the new head coach at George Mason. So now Rick Barnes will be replacing two of his key assistant coaches, as the current roster is managed. The Vols will be looking into the transfer portal over the next few weeks, especially trying to find a presence in the post.
This past weekend was a great starting point for Tennessee, as Auburn’s Justin Powell announced he would transfer and play for the Vols. The 6-foot-6 combo guard was having a great start to the season for the Tigers through six games, but sustained an injury and sat out the remainder of the season.
As for the Vols assistant coaching positions, look for Rick Barnes to potentially take a little bit of time trying to find the right fit for this coaching staff. He seems to already be zeroing in on a replacement for English, and I’d expect the same kind of timeline for replacing Oliver.
The Vols could also potentially lose another player or two to the transfer portal, if Oliver decides he can find more playing time for one of the current Tennessee players. So, don’t be surprised if you see a few more spots open up on the Tennessee roster.
This is a key time for Tennessee basketball, as they look to add consistent depth to this roster, and another assistant coach.