What do Coach K and I have in common? No I don’t have any National Championships (yet) and I have never coached the Olympic Basketball Team. BUT…our staffs are made up of former players that played for us! Honestly, I can’t name another staff in the country that can claim this!
Ashleen Bracey (RECRUITING COORDINATOR) was a 3 year starter for us at Illinois State and the best player in our league her senior year. Her 3 year record as a starter was 72-13. When it was all said and done she was one of the best players to ever put on an ISU uniform. Her drive and intensity are second to none. She played professionally until breaking her hand and having 5 screws put in her right hand. She then joined us at Mizzou as our GA. Last season she was an assistant at Ball St. She is an extremely talented coach with a very bright future. Our entire family has spent so much time with Leen she is another sister to my kids and another daughter for my wife and I!
Matt Fitzpatrick (ASSISTANT RECRUITING COORDINATOR) was my 3 year starting PG at Davenport Assumption High School from 1997-99. We won the conference 3 consecutive years and won a State Championship in 1999. His 3 year record was 60-11. He was a First Team All-State player and went on to have an outstanding career at St Ambrose University being selected First Team All-American his senior year. He actually moved in with our family for part of his junior year in HS. He is one of the top 3 players to ever where an Assumption uniform. My 4 kids accepted him just like another brother and he is like a son to my wife Claire and I. He is extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher of the game. Before joining me here at UAB, he was coaching MBB at Truman St University and actually coached my oldest son Tom his junior and senior years!
Taren Martin (ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH)(Obrien when I coached her!) was the starting PG at Illinois State her senior year which was our first season at ISU. Before we arrived her teams had won an average of 5 games per season the 3 previous seasons. In our first season we won 16 games , which was the biggest turnaround from the previous season in the entire country. A large part was Taren’s leadership and her feisty attitude. She set the tone with her defense taking 36 charges that season! She hit clutch shots all season long! We liked her so much we hired her as a GA and then as our Director of Operations until we left for University of Missouri. She then was a head coach at Eureka College for 3 years. She is an outstanding teacher and a tremendous motivator. We had always said we wanted to coach together, so this was a dream come true! Taren lived with our family as well the summer before she got married. She is a sister to my kids and a daughter to my wife and I.
Our staff cares and loves one another a great deal and this carries over to everyone on our team. We are a true family that will always be there for each other unconditionally, no matter what the circumstances are!
Until Next Time Blazer Fans!