WAUWATOSA, WI (August 8, 2019) - Bryant & Stratton College's head men's basketball coach Austin Hawkins has finalized his 2019-20 coaching staff as he retains Troy Coleman and Brian Garner and brings on Ben Eckburg as assistant coaches.
Hawkins earned the head coaching position back in early July after serving as an assistant in the spring of 2019.
Along with Hawkins, Coleman served as an assistant coach under previous head coach Matt Majkrzak for the 2018-19 season. In his one-year stint as an assistant for the Bobcats, Coleman helped the program reach a 25-8 overall record along with a Region IV Championship appearance.
Prior to Bryant & Stratton, Coleman was the top assistant coach at Grace Preparatory Academy in Arlington, TX from 2015-17 where he helped lead the program to a final four and state championship appearance.
"Troy is one of the most loyal people I have met in the coaching profession and I could not be more thankful to have him on my staff here at Bryant & Stratton," Hawkins said. "Troy was a successful player at the Junior College and Division-III level at UW-Whitewater, and has had a tremendous amount of success at the prep ranks in both Wisconsin and Texas. His experience as both a player and coach at many levels will benefit our guys. Troy's knowledge of the state, specifically Milwaukee and the surrounding area, as well as his positive attitude in coaching will be major attributes to Bobcat basketball."
The Milwaukee native coached 10 seasons at John Marshall High School serving as a head boys basketball coach and one year as a freshman coach.
Eckburg joins the Bobcats for his first season. Prior to Bryant & Stratton, Eckburg served one season as an assistant coach at Holy Cross College (NAIA) in South Bend, IN. He helped the Saints to a program best 21-11 record and a second place finish in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Before arriving in South Bend, Eckburg served two years as a graduate assistant for the University of Wisconsin men's basketball program under coach Greg Gard and four years as a student-manager under coach Bo Ryan. Eckburg's six years as a part of the Wisconsin Badgers coaching staff coincided with some of the best seasons in UW history which includes five NCAA tournament appearances, back-to-back final four appearances and both a Big Ten regular season and tournament championships.
"We are thrilled to have Ben join our Bobcat family," Hawkins said. "He is a young coach that is hungry to learn and his experiences will greatly benefit our program. Ben has only been around winning programs as he was part of Wisconsin's final four and national runner-up teams as well as part of the most successful season in program history at Holy Cross one year ago. His positive energy, ability to relate to our student-athletes and strong work ethic will enhance our program and Bryant & Stratton as a whole."
Garner remains on Hawkins' staff after serving one season as an assistant at Bryant & Stratton.
Prior to Bryant & Stratton, Garner served as the head varsity girls basketball coach at his alma mater, Milwaukee Washington.
Collegiately, Garner competed for the Iowa University Hawkeyes. He was a member of a program that was ranked in the top five in the nation and made a trip to the NCAA tournament. After two seasons as a Hawkeye, he finished his career at Oral Roberts University before a professional career that took him overseas to Chile, Brazil and Venezuela as well as a pair of stops in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) with the Grand Rapids Mackers and the Rockford Lightning.
The Milwaukee native graduated from Milwaukee Washington High School in 1987. Garner was a major piece in the machine that was Milwaukee Washington during the 1987 season. He helped lead the Purgolders to the 1987 Wisconsin High School State Championship. An alternate for the McDonalds All-American game, Garner's senior season turned heads of many colleges across the country and he chose to attend the University of Iowa to continue his basketball career.
"Brian Garner is one of the most decorated players in this city and his resume as a former player and now coach speaks for itself," Hawkins said. "Along with his strong ties to the area, Coach Garner's ability to relate to players beyond the hardwood will prove beneficial to each and every member of our program. We are lucky to have BG on board here at BSC."
What they are saying about Troy Coleman:
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (NCAA D1, Mountain West Conference) Head Coach TJ Otzelberger
"Troy is a man of great character and an amazing teacher of the game," Otzelberger said. "His passion for basketball and developing young men is unparalleled. I look forward to continuing to follow his successes on his coaching journey."
What they are saying about Ben Eckburg:
Univeristy of Wisconsin (NCAA DI, Big Ten Conference) Head Coach Greg Gard
"I am excited for Ben and his new position, Gard said. "I know how passionate he is about the game and also how motivated he is to help young people learn. He did a great job for us at Wisconsin in his various roles and I know he's in position to have an excellent coaching career because he's always been willing to learn and grow as a coach. He'll do good things at Bryant & Stratton and will have a positive impact on the student-athletes he coaches."
What they are saying about Brian Garner:
Northern Michigan University (NCAA DII, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference) Head Coach Matt Majkrzak
"Brian Garner is not only one of the most highly respected former players in Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin; his basketball IQ is first class. BG knows all the ins and outs of the Milwaukee basketball scene and will be a valuable resource for Bryant & Stratton."
The 2019-20 official men's basketball schedule is set to be released in September.