BIRMINGHAM — The news broke around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon. After an eventful interview process, Mark Ingram hired UAB associate head coach Robert Ehsan as the sixth head men’s basketball coach in the program’s history.
As I mentioned in my previous Ehsan article, it’s my belief that a coach is only as good as his assistants. Let’s take a look at some of the potential candidates.
Turner Battle – Associate Head Coach
Battle began his coaching career in 2006 as an assistant at his alma mater, Sweet Home High school in Buffalo, N.Y. From there, he’d go on to be an assistant at his college alma mater the University of Buffalo, Chattanooga under now VCU coach Will Wade, and UAB currently. There’s a good chance Ehsan promotes Battle to associate head coach, which I believe he deserves.
Kevin Devitt – Assistant Coach
Devitt came to UAB at the beginning of the Haase era. He was promoted to the director of basketball operations at the beginning of the 2014-15 season. Devitt, a graduate of Depaul University, left UAB to join Billy Donlon’s Wright State staff as an assistant head coach. Wright State fired Donlon this past season, which leads me to believe Devitt could be making a return back UAB to be one of Ehsan’s assistants.
Zavier Anderson – Assistant Coach
Zay came to UAB during the 2014-15 season after time as a graduate assistant under Shaka Smart at VCU from 2011-13 and as a director of basketball operations at the Citadel during the 2013-14 season. Anderson served as the director of basketball operations for Haase this past season. It’s possible he may remain the director of operations, but I feel that he’ll move up in the ranks and become one of Ehsan’s assistants.
Robert Williams – Director of Operations
Rob completed his first year as a graduate assistant for Haase last season. Director of operations seems like the logical next step for Williams. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ehsan kept him as a GA for another season. Either way, I feel Rob will be on the staff in some form.
Ehsan will have a few more positions to fill that I think are anyone’s guess at this point. One of the biggest pieces Haase took with him to Stanford was Cory Schlesinger, the strength and conditioning coach. Cory did a masterful job of keeping the players healthy during his time at UAB and was often implementing new innovations in exercise science. His position will be as important as any for Ehsan to fill.
You’ll notice of the names I mentioned none are over the age of 33. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ehsan tabs an older coach from his past to be one of his assistants or one of the other positions to be filled.
Blazer Bloggin’ will provide updates as we receive them.