UPDATE: It's official
Steve Pikiell is reportedly set to make another hire, adding his longtime assistant at Stony Brook, Jay Young, to his coaching staff at Rutgers.
Young, who was the associate head coach at Stony Brook, will be an assistant coach under newly hired associate head coach Karl Hobbs. Dan Rickard, another former assistant of Pikiell's at Stony Brook, is also on board but Jerry Carino pointed out that he is expected to end up in a non-coaching role.
Jay Young has been an assistant coach at Stony Brook for all 11 seasons during Pikiell's tenure, with the last 7 as his top assistant. Young ran a defense that this past season allowed just 63.4 points per game, tops in the America East conference. He also specializes in the frontcourt regarding player development. Stony Brook traditionally ranked in the top 20 of Division I each season in rebounding margin. Aside from Young's work with three-time America East player of the year Jameel Warney, he also mentored center Dallis Joyner, who made all conference honors and left Stony Brook second all-time in rebounds. Warney talked to Newsday after the season regarding his experience playing for Young:
"I love Coach Young. He showed me how charismatic he is and how fun-loving . . . I thought he was funny. Then I came here, and he started yelling at me.
"But he wants the best for me. Sometimes he gets mad at me and we argue, but he knows I’m going to listen to him. I value his opinion more than anything in the world, and I’m going to do what he asks of me. It’s a great relationship."
Young started his way up the coaching ranks working at Division II & III schools, before landing at Stony Brook under Pikiell. His biggest accomplishment was as head coach of Division II New Haven, where he took them to consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. The school had a losing record in seven of eight seasons before his arrival.
His experience in rebuilding programs such as New Haven and Stony Brook is essential in his role at Rutgers. Most expected Young to replace Pikiell at Stony Brook as head coach, but it didn't happen. It seems second year athletic director Shawn Heilbron wants to bring in his own guy. Stony Brook's loss is Rutgers gain.
Villanova associate HC Baker Dunleavy gaining traction at Stony Brook. Stay tuned to https://t.co/AfHFYJVao3 for more...— HoopDirt.com (@HoopDirt) April 6, 2016
Young is a veteran coach who knows exactly how Pikiell wants things done. Think Jay Niemann as defensive coordinator for Rutgers football coach Chris Ash. His defensive acumen and ability to get the results that Pikiell wants should be a major asset.
Pikiell now has a former head coach and longtime assistant with multiple national championships rings to sit alongside his long time right hand man. Even just between Hobbs and Young, there is already more experience on the Rutgers bench than there has been in a very long time.
This presumably leaves one more assistant coaching spot for Pikiell to fill on his staff. Former Pitt star player and assistant coach Brandin Knight has been reportedly weighing multiple offers, including Rutgers. If, and it's a big if, Knight were to join the staff at Rutgers, it would be a grand slam by Pikiell.
Rutgers @CoachPikiell is trying to add former Pitt asst Brandin Knight to his staff, per multiple sources. Would be a great hire.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) April 6, 2016
Even so, the hires Pikiell has reportedly made so far, have been very positive and should put him in a position to hit the ground running. Rutgers hasn't formally announced any hiring's as of yet, likely waiting until the entire staff is complete. Pikiell has also kept Greg "Shoes" Vetrone around for now, although the lone holdover from Eddie Jordan's staff does not have a defined role and it has not been confirmed he will be at Rutgers long term. More to come as Pikiell works to complete his coaching and support staff. So far, so good!!