Washington has added former Iowa State assistant T.J. Otzelberger to the men's basketball staff.
When Lamont Smith left shortly after the end of the season to be the associate head coach at New Mexico, the Huskies had a choice about their coaching staff. Add or leave it as is with three coaches: Brad Jackson, Paul Fortier and Jim Shaw.
Washington decided to add another assistant. It's unclear if Fortier will remain Director of Player Personnel and Development, a role he was shifted to last season, but all those other assistants remain on staff. NCAA rules say that only three assistants can perform hands-on coaching during practice. We're trying to clear up with the school what Fortier's role will be next season. UPDATE: The school says the only news it will announce today is the addition of Otzelberger.
Here's the full release on the hire:
Otzelberger was an assistant at Iowa State for seven seasons and has been associate head coach for the Cyclones since 2010.
"T.J. has earned a reputation as a tenacious recruiter and his depth of experience will benefit our program immediately," Romar said. "We are excited to welcome him to the Husky family."
Otzelberger has established himself as a rising star in the world of college basketball since joining Head Coach Fred Hoiberg's staff in 2006. He is known for his relentless work ethic in recruiting, scouting and player development which helped elevate Iowa State to the top of the Big 12 standings.
"As a coach, there are few chances you get to have the opportunity to work for someone whom you look up to as a coach, a mentor, and a man of great character," Otzelberger said. "I feel like coach Romar embodies all of those qualities, and I'm excited to be a part of the Husky program and compete on the national level each year."
During the last two seasons, Otzelberger was in charge of all opponent scouting reports and implementation of game plans as the Cyclones recorded two of their greatest campaigns in school history.
The Cyclones made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2013 and 2012. They went 23-12 overall and 11-7 in league play in 2013, marking just the second time in school history they recorded 10-wins in Big 12 play in consecutive years. ISU also extended their home win streak to 22 games and defeated three ranked opponents during the year. They were a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament and beat Notre Dame in the second round before falling to Ohio State. ISU led all "power-six" conferences and ranked third nationally in scoring at 79.4 ppg and led the nation with 9.9 3-point makes per game.
Otzelberger helped Iowa State to its first NCAA tournament berth in seven years in 2012 when the Cyclones won 23 games and were 12-6 in Big 12 play. That year, the Cyclones beat defending national champion Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing to eventual national champion Kentucky.
Otzelberger was vital in the recruitment of several all-league players and eventual NBA talents to Ames during his time, including Royce White (2012 All-Big 12 First Team, Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, 16th pick of NBA Draft). Other talented players he helped guide to Iowa State are: Craig Brackins, a two-time All-Big 12 performer and 21st pick in NBA Draft; Diante Garrett, ISU's second-best career assist man and current NBA player; Mike Taylor, an All-Big 12 performer and 2008 NBA Draft pick; Melvin Ejim, an All-Big 12 Third-Team pick in 2013 who led the Big 12 in both rebounding (9.3) and double-doubles (15); Scott Christopherson, Iowa State's all-time leading three-point shooter and an All-Big 12 Third-Team pick in 2012; and Will Clyburn, the 2013 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. In all, 13 All-Big 12 performers have played at Iowa State during Otzelberger's time with ISU.
Additionally, ISU has thrived in the classroom during Otzelberger's tenure. Three of the best cumulative GPAs in the program's history have been achieved, highlighted by the 2012 year when four players earned academic All-Big 12 honors.
In the community, Otzelberger is highly involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Ames. He assisted in bringing the NABC's "Stay in to Win" program to Central Iowa, a seminar focusing on developing student-athlete success and dropout prevention.
Otzelberger was an assistant at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Florida, for the 2004-05 season, a year in which the Indians finished 33-4, won the Panhandle Conference and placed fourth at the 2005 NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Otzelberger spent three seasons at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, Wisconsin, serving as an assistant varsity and junior varsity coach his first two years before taking over as head coach and athletic director in his final year at the high school level (2003-04). He also served as a physical education instructor at the high school.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Otzelberger was born on September 17, 1977. He was a two-year team captain at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, while earning his degree in business administration in 2001. He earned his Masters of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from UW-Whitewater in 2004.