LSU’s McMahon finalizes men’s basketball staff
BATON ROUGE – LSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Matt McMahon announced on Thursday the members of his staff that will help him lead the LSU Tigers into the 2022-23 season.
McMahon announced that Casey Long, Ronnie Hamilton and Cody Toppert will serve as assistant coaches.
Long joins Coach McMahon after five seasons at Murray State while Hamilton comes to LSU after a four-year stint at Ole Miss. Toppert served the past three campaigns as an assistant coach at Memphis.
“I am absolutely thrilled with the announcement of our assistant coaches,” said Coach McMahon. ”Casey Long, Ronnie Hamilton and Cody Toppert are well-rounded and experienced coaches with proven track records of successfully impacting winning. They are excellent on-court teachers, outstanding recruiters with relentless work ethics, and they do an incredible job in player development.
“All three coaches have experienced championships, winning in the NCAA Tournament, and the development of NBA players. Very importantly to me, Coaches Long, Hamilton and Toppert are high character family men committed to investing in our players to help them maximize their opportunities at LSU, both on and off the basketball court.”
Also joining McMahon’s staff for the Tigers are: Tim Kaine as Chief of Staff; Tasmin Mitchell as Special Assistant to the Head Coach; Ronrico White as Director of Player Development; Jeff Moore as Director of Recruiting; Mike Chapman as Video Coordinator; and Brian Puckett as the team’s Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Kaine previously served as an assistant to Coach McMahon at Murray State, while Mitchell will be starting his sixth year with the LSU Basketball program. White has been a part of Murray State’s staff for three seasons, while Moore joins LSU after serving as the Associate Head Coach at Northwestern State. Both Chapman and Puckett will be continuing the roles they served for the Racers.
“In completing our staff, I wanted to add talented, high energy people with a variety of different coaching backgrounds,” Coach McMahon said. “This outstanding group of coaches is committed to building the foundation and establishing the LSU Basketball culture as we move the program forward. They understand the importance of investing in our players, building lifelong relationships, and establishing a shared accountability within our program.
“Four members of our group came in as proven assistant coaches with NCAA Tournament experience and, I am excited to work with each member of our staff to create alignment in our organization. We are all looking forward to being a part of the LSU campus and the Baton Rouge community. Geaux Tigers!”
Long was part of one of the greatest periods in Murray State program history, which included four Ohio Valley Conference regular season championships in the five seasons (2018, ’19, ’20 and ’22) and three OVC Tournament titles (’18, ’19, ’22).
The Racers won 121 games in the last five years, including 31 in 2021-22.
Long, whose hometown is Leesville, Louisiana, also coached consensus All-America selection Ja Morant, OVC Player of the Year Jonathan Stark, and league Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Buchanan.
Long helped coach Murray State to three NCAA Tournament appearances (with a fourth canceled by the pandemic). The Racers defeated Marquette as a 12 seed in 2019, 83-64; and, as the sixth seed defeated San Francisco, 92-87, in the first round in 2022.
He also served as assistant coach at his alma mater, Chattanooga, and later director of operations and assistant coach at VCU.
Hamilton served the past eight seasons with former LSU assistant coach Kermit Davis, including four seasons at Ole Miss and four at Middle Tennessee State. Hamilton worked primarily with guards including all-SEC selections Devontae Shuler in 2021, Breein Tyree in 2019 and 2020, and Terence Davis in 2019.
The Oxford, North Carolina, native also spent two seasons at Houston (2012-14), Tulane (2010-12) and The Citadel (2008-10). He also spent three at Tarleton State (2005-08) after beginning his career as a graduate assistant at UNC Pembroke (2004-05).
Hamilton has a unique story, as he was a four-year letterman as a defensive back for the Duke football team. He signed a free-agent contract with the New York Giants. Hamilton decided to get into coaching, electing to follow a passion of his and turned to basketball.
Toppert comes to LSU with an extensive coaching resume’ on both the professional and collegiate levels. At Memphis, he created and managed the team’s analytics program which was considered to be among the most advanced in college basketball.
Toppert was part of Memphis’ team that in 2022 advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014, winning 22 games and scoring a first-round win over Boise State, 64-52, before falling to No. 1 seed Gonzaga by just four points.
He spent a year as an assistant and Director of Player Development for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and was the head coach of the team’s NBA G League franchise, the Northern Arizona Suns (2017-18). He had a team record five players promoted to an NBA roster, also leading the league in unique player call-ups. He also served as an assistant with Houston’s affiliate, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers for two seasons.
Toppert also put together an NBA pre-draft program that has produced 12 NBA Draft picks. As a player, he played for seven years professionally after his stellar four-year career at Cornell.
Kaine will continue his association with McMahon in the new Chief of Staff role, which will also include operations duties. Kaine will be entering his eighth season with McMahon as part of over 20 years assisting on coaching staffs.
Kaine was part of Murray State’s extremely successful run in the OVC with NCAA Tournament appearances in 2018, 2019 and 2022, advancing to the round of 32 in both 2019 and 2022. He was also part of the NCAA Tournament team in 2018.
He has been a part of all 154 of Coach McMahon’s victories at MSU, starting with the team’s OVC divisional title in 2016 and 121 wins over the last five seasons as part of the one of the greatest periods in the program’s history. Murray State won 26 games in 2018, 28 in 2019, 23 in 2020 and 31 in the 2022 season.
He also served as assistant coach at Georgia Southern (2014-15) and Florida Atlantic (2008-14) with stops also at Winthrop, Newberry, Guilford and starting his career at Austin Peay State.
Mitchell, a local product from Denham Springs, remains one of LSU Basketball fans’ favorite all-time players and will be a part of the LSU staff for the sixth-straight season. Mitchell, who remains one of the top scorers and rebounders in LSU history, played in an NCAA Final Four and was part of two SEC Championship teams.
Mitchell remains No. 3 on LSU’s all-time scoring list at LSU with 1,989 points behind Pete Maravich and Durand “Rudy” Macklin. His 950 rebounds rank No. 6 all-time and stand behind five of the top names in LSU basketball history – Macklin, Shaquille O’Neal, Al Sanders, Bob Pettit and Ned Clark.
He is one of three players in LSU history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in a career.
The Tigers have gone to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments with Mitchell on LSU’s staff (2019, 2021, 2022), advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2019 and the round of 32 in 2021. The Tigers won a total of 62 games over the last three seasons when he was an on-floor coach.
White steps into the Player Development role for LSU after three years at Murray State, two in a similar role with the Racers. He served as an on-floor assistant for the 2021-22 season. In this position, White will work with the coaching staff on projects and will be responsible for monitoring, improving and developing the skills of the players through court training.
White has also served as assistant coach at Division III Emory and Henry and at Gardner-Webb. He comes from a basketball family as his father, Tony, was an all-America selection at the University of Tennessee (1987) and UPI’s SEC Player of the Year.
In the new position of Director of Recruiting is a coach very familiar with Louisiana, having been on the bench for recently retired coach Mike McConathy at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. Moore will be involved with all aspects of men’s basketball recruiting efforts including official visits made by prospects and their families.
Moore helped sign two Southland Conference Freshman of the Year at Northwestern State – Jalan West (2013) and Zeek Woodley (2014) and the 2013 SLC Newcomer of the Year, DeQuan Hicks. The Louisiana native spent five years as a head coach and athletic director in the junior college ranks at John Wood (Illinois) Community College, making a run to the NJCAA regional tournament semifinals in 2001.
Chapman and Puckett both served in the same roles at Murray State for Coach McMahon.
Chapman served the past four seasons at Murray State in the same position also handling operations details for the program. During his college years, he worked with the video department at the University of Florida and spent two seasons with the Florida basketball program as assistant video coordinator.
Puckett, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the NSCA, handled strength and conditioning for the basketball, golf and tennis programs at the school. He also served in the position at Georgia Southern for the football team specializing in working with the defensive line assisting in the development of agility drills and position-specific workouts.
Also continuing in their present long-standing roles for the men’s basketball program are administrative assistant Brittany Carvalhido and senior associate athletic trainer Shawn Eddy.
Complete updated bios on the staff will be posted on the roster page at LSUsports.net.
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