Monday afternoon Nate Oats told us we would be "shocked" at the quality of his staff once it all came together. Perhaps we're getting closer towards the end of the week to at least the first assistant in the Oats regime.
When Steve Lavin was released and St John's went outside the program for his replacement it left his assistants looking for new positions. Nothing has been announced yet, but it sure looks like Jim Whitesell will make his way from New York City to Nate Oats' staff in Amherst. He was seen around campus with Nate Oats over the weekend, and Oats now follows his wife, Connie, on Twitter (Jim doesn't seem to have an account), who is tweeting about the move:
Connie is an active voice as the spouse of a coach, and is currently writing a series for the website "Spouses in Sports." Not the point of this post, but there's some interesting stuff there and it's a good read.
To get to know Jim we'll start with an old article from Rumble in the Garden, SBNation's St. John's site. It was published in 2013 when Whitesell joined the Red Storm staff back in the summer of 2013.
A short history of new assistant coach Jim Whitesell - and his Steve Lavin connection - Rumble In The Garden
Whitesell, a veteran who has worked his way up the ranks, has coached for 31 years - 24 years as a head coach. He was most recently Associate Head Coach at Saint Louis, and was the head coach at Loyola-Chicago, where he had a 109-106 record before being fired. Whitesell adds veteran head coaching experience to the recruiting and training talents of Tony Chiles and Rico Hines. So let's get to know the veteran Jim Whitesell, he of the distinctive spiky white hair on the sidelines.
Whitesell held the head coaching position at Loyola University Chicago and was an assistant coach for the Saint Louis Billikens before going to St. John's. In Chicago Whitesell replaced Larry Farmer as head coach of the Ramblers on April 14, 2004 after 17 seasons in Chicago at D-III Elmhurst and D-II Lewis University. Whitesell was fired as head coach of the Ramblers on March 14, 2011 after seven seasons, posting a 109-106 record in that time. Between Chicago and St. John's he worked as an assistant at Saint Louis for two seasons.
Should he make it onto staff here, Whitesell would bring literally decades of experience and would likely work with the forwards.