Edwards officially hired as WKU assistant

10 07 2010

University release about former Kentucky player Allen Edwards’ hiring at Western Kentucky. 

Also, new men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Ryan Johnson – from the University of Texas –

has been hired as well.

Here’s the release:


WKU rounded out its men’s basketball coaching staff for
the 2010-11 season with the hiring of Allen Edwards as an assistant coach and
Ryan Johnson as strength and conditioning coach, head coach Ken McDonald
announced Saturday.

Edwards brings with him two National Championships and six NCAA Tournament appearances as a player or coach. He comes to the Hill from Towson University, where he spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant coach.

No stranger to the commonwealth of Kentucky, Edwards previously spent time as an assistant coach at Morehead State and prior to that was a standout on two
of the University of Kentucky’s national championship teams under Rick Pitino
and Tubby Smith.

“I am very pleased with how our assistant coaching search has ended up,”
McDonald said. “We looked at many highly-qualified coaches, and Allen’s
enthusiasm, experience and reputation all fit the criteria for what is
important for our program to keep getting better. Allen has great character,
excellent recruiting ties, and has high level practical and recruiting
experience. We welcome Allen, his wife, LaTanya, daughter, Mai’a and son,
Jaxon, to the Hilltopper family.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Edwards said. “I would characterize
Western Kentucky University men’s basketball as a ‘sleeping giant.’ I was
amazed by the facilities and the support, and I am very excited to be back in
a tremendous basketball state. The tradition of the program speaks for
itself, and Coach McDonald and his staff have done well since they’ve been
here. I’m excited about the opportunity, and I look forward to working with
all of the coaches and players. I’m excited to be part of the Hilltopper
Nation.”

A four-year letterwinner at Kentucky, Edwards and the Wildcats advanced to
three-straight Final Fours in his sophomore-through-seniors seasons and fell
one win shy of the Final Four in his freshman season of 1994-95. The Wildcats
captured National Championships in 1996 and 1998, giving Edwards two title
rings during his time in Lexington.

In his four-year Kentucky career, which spanned the last three years of the
Rick Pitino era and the first year of Tubby Smith’s tenure, Edwards’ teams
compiled a remarkable 132-16 record and three Southeastern Conference titles
to go along with the three Final Four appearances and two National
Championships. He averaged 9.2 points, 3.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game
for the Wildcats during his senior season when Kentucky captured its seventh
all-time NCAA title. He also averaged 8.6 points per game as a junior in
1996-97.

After a successful playing career in the CBA and the IBL, Edwards returned to
Kentucky to serve as a special assistant to Smith for the 2002-03 season.
While completing his degree in sociology, Edwards helped the Wildcats to a
16-0 record in SEC play and the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Edwards began a three-year stint at Morehead State in the 2003-04 season,
working as an assistant coach on Kyle Macy’s staff. He joined the staff at
Virginia Commonwealth for the 2006-07 season and helped the Rams to a 76-25
overall record and a 45-9 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. In
Edwards’ three years at VCU the Rams advanced to the postseason each year,
earning two NCAA Tournament berths and advancing once to the NIT.

In the 2007 NCAA Tournament, VCU eliminated Duke in a first-round upset.
Thanks to Edwards’ defensive-minded coaching, the Rams led the nation in
3-point field goal percentage defense and were in the top 10 in the nation in
field goal percentage defense. In 2008-09, the Rams led the CAA in field goal
percentage defense.

After his time at VCU, Edwards moved to Towson University, where he was an
assistant coach under head coach Pat Kennedy. The Tigers went 10-21 in
2009-10.

A native of Miami, Fla., Edwards earned Florida’s Mr. Basketball award during
his final season at Miami Senior High School.

Edwards and his wife, LaTanya, have two children, 10-year old daughter, Mai’a
and three-year old son, Jaxon.

The Edwards File

High School: Miami Senior HS, Miami, Fla.

College: Kentucky, 2002 (Bachelor of Science, Sociology)

College Athletics: Basketball, guard, four letters (two National
Championships)

Coaching Experience:

Kentucky, special assistant, 2002-03

Morehead State, assistant coach, 2003-06

VCU, assistant coach, 2006-09

Towson, assistant coach, 2009-10

Ryan Johnson Named Strength and Conditioning Coach: Western Kentucky
University head men’s basketball coach Ken McDonald also announced the
addition of Ryan Johnson as the strength and conditioning coach for the team.
Johnson replaces Todor Pandov, who left WKU in May to accept a similar
position at the University of Miami.

“I am very excited about the addition of Ryan to our staff,” McDonald said.
“He has the opportunity to take our strength and conditioning program for
men’s basketball to another level. Ryan comes to us after two years with the
University of Texas men’s basketball program, and we welcome him, his wife,
Sara and son, Gage, to the Hilltopper community.”

Johnson comes to the Hill after spending two seasons at the volunteer
assistant men’s and women’s basketball strength and conditioning coach at the
University of Texas.

Johnson earned his bachelor’s of science degree in exercise and sport
sciences from Texas Tech University in 2007 and received a master’s degree in
kinesiology from the University of Texas in 2010.

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