The Nebraska basketball coaching staff will have a familiar ring to it.
The Huskers made official the additions of Armon Gates and Doc Sadler on Friday, completing a staff that already included Matt Abdelmassih and Bobby Lutz.
Abdelmassih, Sadler and Lutz all worked with Hoiberg at Iowa State, playing significant roles in helping the Cyclones make four NCAA Tournament appearances from 2012 to 2015.
“I am excited with the staff we have put together,” Hoiberg said in a news release. “I wanted to put together an experienced staff and saw how important that was in our past success. We wanted to get the right mix of coaches who can go out and recruit the players we need to be successful and also do a good job of teaching on the floor.”
Sadler returns to Nebraska after spending the last five seasons as the head coach at Southern Miss, where he helped the Golden Eagles improve their win total in each season since 2014-15, becoming one of three teams in the nation to hold that distinction. Despite two years of postseason bans, scholarship reductions and other inherited sanctions, Sadler guided Southern Miss to back-to-back Conference USA semifinal appearances in 2018 and 2019. Last season, he led Southern Miss to 20 wins and a runner-up finish in Conference USA.
He teamed up with Hoiberg at Iowa State in 2013-14, helping the Cyclones to a 28-8 record, a Sweet 16 appearance and the school’s first Big 12 Tournament title since 2000. He coached a pair of All-Americans in Melvin Ejim and DeAndre Kane; Ejim was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2014.
"In talking with Doc, you see that Nebraska is a special place for him, and I am excited to bring him back on staff,” Hoiberg said. “Doc was an instrumental part of our staff at Iowa State when we won our first Big 12 Tournament title in 2014. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience and an extensive recruiting background, but he is a highly respected coach on the floor who will be valuable on our staff.”
Sadler was the head coach at Nebraska from 2006 to 2012, leading the Huskers to three NIT appearances (2008, 2009 and 2011) and posting a 101-89 record. Sadler’s Huskers led the Big 12 in scoring defense three times in six seasons and posted nine wins over ranked opponents in his tenure.
Gates will begin his second year on the Nebraska staff after joining the program in May of 2018. Gates worked with the Husker backcourt, and helped the development of Glynn Watson, who posted a career-high 13.6 points along with 4.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in 2018-19.
“I’ve been impressed with Armon as I’ve gotten to work with him over the past week,” Hoiberg said. “He’s been good on the floor with our players during workouts and gives our staff someone who has experience with both our current players and of the Big Ten.”
Lutz brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to Nebraska and teams up with Hoiberg for the third time in his career. Lutz has won nearly 400 games as a college head coach and reached the postseason 22 times as either a head coach or an assistant. Lutz and Hoiberg worked together at Iowa State during the 2010-11 campaign, building the foundation for the Cyclone program. Lutz most recently worked with Hoiberg in the Chicago Bulls organization, serving as an assistant with the Windy City Bulls of the NBA G League in 2016-17.
“Bobby was my first hire when I got to Ames, and I relied on him during my first year of coaching,” Hoiberg said. “He has an unbelievable basketball mind and is a great sounding board for me with his experience as a head coach. Bobby’s basketball knowledge and expertise will be a great resource for our staff.”
Abdelmassih comes to Nebraska after spending the past four seasons at St. John’s, culminating with the Red Storm winning 21 games and reaching the NCAA Tournament last month. He recruited most of the 2018-19 Red Storm roster, led by two-time, first-team All-Big East selection Shamorie Ponds. All five starters on the 2018-19 team were recruited by Abdelmassih, as he brought in talented transfers such as Mustapha Heron (Auburn), Justin Simon (Arizona) and Marvin Clark Jr. (Michigan State) along with junior college transfer LJ Figueroa. He also helped St. John’s land a consensus top-25 recruiting class in 2016, featuring Ponds and junior college transfer Bashir Ahmed.
Prior to joining the Red Storm staff, Abdelmassih was at Iowa State from 2010-15, spending his last four seasons as an assistant. Abdelmassih was instrumental in making Iowa State one of the primary destinations for some of the top transfers in the country, including All-Big 12 performers DeAndre Kane and Royce White, the No. 16 overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft.