By: Sara Morris | April 4, 2021
The University at Albany athletics department announced Coach Killing’s men’s basketball staff through their social media outlets on Wednesday. This comes as a shock to the UAlbany community as no one from former-head coach Will Brown’s staff is set to make a return to the SEFCU court.
Through a set of images posted to the men’s basketball Instagram account, it was shown that the Great Danes would be led by an all-new staff.
Joining head coach Dwayne Killings as his assistant coaches are Matthew Griffin, Hamlet Tibbs and Dannton Jackson. With Dan Madhavapallil taking over basketball operations, and KJ Baptise joining the staff as recruitment and video coordinator.
Matthew Griffin comes to the Great Danes from Philadelphia, Penn., where he was the head basketball coach for the Roman Catholic High School boys’ basketball team where his team won the last two PIAA Class 4A state titles.
Hamlet Tibbs spent seven seasons with the Vermont Catamounts men’s basketball program as an assistant coach. During the 2016-2017 season, he and the other Catamount coaches lead the team to a perfect 16-0 America East conference record.
Dannton Jackson, who has been coaching since 1994, most recently served as an assistant coach to the University of Alabama at Birmingham basketball program for four years. UAB was ranked no. 25 in defensive plays during the 2016-2017 season.
This is a brand new outlook for the team from Brown’s leadership as each member of his staff were graduates of the university.
Among some of the departures is Jon Iati, who was Brown’s associate head coach through the 2018-2020 seasons, graduated from UAlbany in 2009 while playing for the Great Danes through his collegiate career before joining the coaching staff in 2012.
Jerrad Knotts and Josh Pelletier are departing as well, who were both assistant coaches, graduated in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Both finishing their UAlbany coaching careers with eight years of experience.
Madhavapllil replaces Greg Stire, who was the director of basketball operations for the 2019-2020 season. Stire dawned the purple and gold for both the football and basketball squads before graduating in 2019.
Richard Irving is set to make a return as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the basketball team, along with holding the same position for the men’s football and track and field teams.
John Syalk, who is a 13-year member of the sports medicine department, will continue to focus on basketball training as an assistant athletic trainer.
ASP reached out to athletics director, Mark Benson, for comment on the change in staff, but there is no further comment at this time.