Tennessee coach Rick Barnes hires Justin Gainey as assistant

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) β€” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has hired veteran Justin Gainey as an assistant coach to fill out his staff.

Barnes announced the hiring Monday and called Gainey a proven national recruiter.

β€œI coached against Justin when he was the point guard at N.C. State,” Barnes said. β€œHe was an incredibly tough competitor then, and he has that same tenacity now as a coach. Justin has a passion for on-court player development that fits well with our staff. Our players are going to love working with him to grow their game.

Gainey has 15 years of Division I experience. He spent this season as associate head coach at Marquette where he also worked from 2014-17. He was assistant coach at Santa Clara in 2017-18 and Arizona from 2018-20 where he helped recruit and develop 2020 NBA draft picks in Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion.

He worked for Jason Capel at Appalachian State from 2010-14, and his first on-court coaching job was in 2009-10 at Elon. Gainey started his coaching career at his alma mater N.C. State with two seasons as administrative coordinator before coach Sidney Lowe promoted him to director of basketball operations for 2008-09.

Gainey played four seasons at North Carolina State from 1996-2000.

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