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Steve Pikiell announces coaching staff, includes several internal promotions



Photo credit Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell announced on Monday that he has finalized his coaching staff for the 2023-2024 season. In addition to announcing the new assistant coach, there were several internal moves as well.

Last month, it was reported that Marlon Williamson was being hired as the third assistant coach to replace Karl Hobbs. Pikiell spoke about his addition to the program at length.

“We are very excited to welcome Marlon to the Rutgers men’s basketball family,” Pikiell said. “Marlon is an awesome family man and brings all the things that I love to our program. He’s a hard worker who’s worked at some great programs and made them better. He has a proven winning pedigree and has grinded his way to the NCAA Tournament with many of those programs.”

Williamson previously worked with current Rutgers associate head coach Brandin Knight at Pitt from 2014-2016. They are reportedly very good friends. He was also an assistant at UMass from 2012-2014, LIU-Brooklyn from 2016-2021 and spent the past two seasons at Central Michigan.

“I’m so blessed to receive this opportunity at Rutgers,” Williamson said. “I could tell right away that this is a special place, and I am so excited to work under the leadership of Coach Pikiell. I am looking forward to bringing my experience from the MAC Conference over to Rutgers to help them compete in the Big Ten. From the moment I came in for my interview, I just felt the love and passion from everyone on the staff. This isn’t a job for me. This is what I love to do. I can’t wait to get started.”

Pikiell mentioned what stood out about Williamson and why he was the right hire for Rutgers.

“Marlon has an excellent eye for talent and has really helped recruit with tremendous ties to the AAU scene,” Pikiell said in a press release announcing the news. “We have added another great former college basketball player to our staff and a coach who can develop our players. Marlon is another high character individual that will fit right in with our program.”

Williamson joins Knight, who is set to make $625,000 on the final year of his contract and TJ Thompson, who is set to receive a new contract with his current deal expiring at the end of the month. Thompson has been a key contributor both as a coach and recruiter since being elevated to an assistant coach two years ago. He is due an increase from his current salary of $250,000. Thompson was the lead recruiter for Gavin Griffiths, the highest rated recruit that Rutgers has signed in years.

In addition, Pikiell made several internal moves following the departure of Tom Barrett, who served as Director of External Operations. While Steve Hayn (chief of staff) and Mike Larkin (Director of Basketball Operations) maintain their titles, they’re expected to receive promotions later this year. They will have expanded roles due to new NCAA rules that allow for help from staff during practice time. In addition, Scott Scherer was promoted to Director of Basketball Administration and Mike Sasso was designated as Video Coordinator. Both have played key support roles in recent seasons.

“We have elevated several members of our staff,” Pikiell said. “Scott Scherer and Mike Sasso are now full-time. They are Rutgers people who have gotten their master’s degrees and undergraduate degrees right here at RU. Steve Hayn and Mike Larkin have now taken on added responsibilities. Steve brings a wealth of experience and Mike has been a godsend keeping me organized over the years. They can be in practice and do more work on the basketball court. Our staff is complete, and our players are blessed to be coach by this staff.”

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