First-year coach Kevin McGuff has begun to shape his staff, keep a few familiar faces and adding some new ones to the mix.
After Xavier announced former McGuff assistant Amy Waugh as its new head coach last week, McGuff lured longtime colleague Mike Neighbors to Washington. He’s a noted recruiter, helping the 2010 class rank 18th according to ESPN/Hoopgurlz.
McGuff also hired former California assistant coach Kevin Morrison. He joined former coach Joanne Boyle’s staff in 2007, focusing on recruiting, scouting and being the team’s academic liaison.
“Mike and I work really well together,” McGuff said. “He and Kevin Morrison complement each other with their strengths. With the staff, I’m trying to keep it balanced and have them impact our players and the community.
“I know and trust them and think they would be really great here on board.”
Lastly, former UW standout Sami Whitcomb will remain on staff as the team’s video coordinator. She was appointed by former coach Tia Jackson after graduation, completing her first season last year. McGuff said Whitcomb’s passion for the school and position is what kept her around.
“She’s going to be great in helping with my transition,” McGuff said.
Jackson’s former athletic trainer Jenn Ratcliff will also be back next season. A graduate of Mt. Rainier High where she was a three-sport athlete, including basketball, she enters her ninth season with the program.
McGuff said he’s going to be patient in filling his final two slots — a third full-time assistant and director of basketball operations. He wants to ensure synergy and could go with another local to help the Huskies regain ground in recruiting in the state. Those could be filled by mid-May.
As for the roster, McGuff has hit the recruiting trail with the 2011-12 season in mind. There could be another signing in the works, but it’s all about fit for the first-year coach.
For more questions, join his live chat Tuesday afternoon at 1 p.m. You can find more information here.
*PHOTO CREDIT: Washington coach Kevin McGuff courtesy of the school