June 19, 2014
First-year University of Montana men's basketball mentor Travis DeCuire has selected his assistant coaches, he announced today.
DeCuire named former Pac-12 and Big Sky Conference head coach Ken Bone as an Associate Head Coach, while current Griz assistant Jono Metzger-Jones will remain at UM, and Chris Cobb rounds out DeCuire's assistant coaching staff. Marlon Stewart was chosen to serve as the Director of Basketball Operations.
Bone recently concluded his fifth season as the head coach at Washington State. During his tenure with the Cougars his teams advanced to two postseason tournaments, including the NIT semifinals in 2010-11. He had a record of 80-86 in his tenure at WSU.
"I thought for me and the first time as a head coach, it's important to have someone on the bench and in the office that had experience with making decisions, and also having a calm mind to weather the storm in big, pressure games," DeCuire said. "For me it's important to have someone like Ken who is very experienced on the bench.
"All of his teams have probably over-achieved," DeCuire said. "Offensively, when you look at the University of Washington when they had their success and Sweet 16 runs he was a big part of that," DeCuire said. "They were probably in the top five or six in scoring, and we're looking at getting to that point in scoring, and 85 or 90 points a game, if possible. So that's important for us. He had some success at Washington State and his teams were good offensively."
Prior to his stint at WSU, Bone spent the previous four years as the head coach at Portland State, leading the Vikings to back-to-back NCAA appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. He had a record of 77-49 at PSU, and one of the best winning percentages (.611) in school history.
Bone has a record of 361-202 in his 19 years as a head coach, including 12 seasons at his alma mater, Seattle Pacific University. Between his stints at SPU and PSU, he spent the 2002-05 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Washington.
A native of Seattle, Bone graduated from Seattle Pacific in 1983 and received his master's in athletic administration in 1993. He played two seasons at SPU.
Metzger-Jones recently concluded his third season as an assistant coach at Montana. During his stint at UM the Grizzlies have advanced to two NCAA Tournaments (2012 & 2013), and to the CBI Tournament (2011) as well. On the court Metzger-Jones works primarily with the Griz perimeter players. Over the past four seasons he helped guards Will Cherry and Kareem Jamar earn first team All-Big Sky Conference honors.
"Player development is very important to me, and I think Jono has played a strong role with that here are Montana," DeCuire said. "I think you will see some results this year on the floor with a couple of guys who didn't play last year, or who played limited minutes this past year, in terms of their improvement.
"He's also important because he's been here for awhile on the staff, and has a good feel for where the community stands in regards to Montana basketball," DeCuire said. "Once again you're talking about someone who has experience with winning championships. He understands the game and is a very good recruiter."
His other duties at Montana include all aspects of recruiting, scheduling, player skill development with an emphasis on perimeter players, preparation and implementation of opponent scouting reports, game strategy, film breakdown, player academics, facility coordination, summer camps, and equipment.
Prior to arriving in Missoula, Metzger-Jones spent four seasons at UC Santa Barbara. In his time there he helped lead the Gauchos to two Big West regular-season championships and back-to-back Big West Conference Tournament titles and NCAA berths -- a first in UCSB basketball history.
Metzger-Jones played collegiately at the University of the Pacific where he finished his career ranked in the program's top 10 all time in 3-point shooting. After his college days were over Jono spent time playing professionally in Europe. Over the course of three seasons he played in professional leagues in Italy, Switzerland, Finland, and Denmark. A native of Oakland, California, Metzger-Jones earned his B.S. in Business Administration from UOP in 2002.
Cobb just completed his fourth year as the head assistant coach at Chico State, where he was a key component of the team's scouting, recruiting and player development. The Wildcats played in three straight NCAA Tournaments (2012-13 and 2013-14) during his tenure, and advanced to the Elite Eight last season for the first time in school history.
"Chris is a very hard worker, who has gained a ton of experience at a very young age," DeCuire said. "Division I and Division II are the same to me, in terms in what you put in recruiting and player development wise. His team at Chico won an NCAA game last year, and for me it's important to have guys on the staff whose teams have won championships, and know what it takes to develop a program and take a program to the next level."
Prior to his stint at Chico, Cobb was an assistant coach at San Francisco State during the 2009-10 season. He joined the coaching ranks immediately following a four-year career at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif., where he was a two-time All-California Pacific Conference first team pick. He is Menlo's all-time record holder for career assists and 3-pointers.
Cobb received his bachelor's degree in business management from Menlo College in 2009. He earned his master's degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis on sports administration, from Fresno Pacific University in 2012.
Stewart joins the Griz program after a two-year stint at the University of Virginia, where he was involved in scouting and video work. Last season Virginia was the ACC champion, a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament, and advanced to the Sweet 16.
A 2008 graduate of Washington State, Stewart was the video coordinator at WSU in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and also served in that capacity at the University of California-Berkeley (with DeCuire) from 2009-12.
"Marlon is a multi-task guy who is very bright, understands the game, is very level-headed, and for me I thought it was important to have someone on the staff who knows me and has worked with me before," DeCuire said. "He was part of our (Cal's) conference championship teams in 2010 and Virginia's 2014 ACC championship. So once again you're talking about someone who knows how to win. He'll do a lot of things for us."
"I am very comfortable with this staff," DeCuire said. "I think that when you look at your staff and you look at your team and your leadership, I've always believed in recruiting winners when you put your team together. In order to do that you have to have a staff who understands what a winner is and what it takes to get there. When you look at our staff, every one of them has played a role in some sort of championship or another."
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