Men’s basketball coaching staff finalized for 2014-15 season


Kaitlyn Thurston

Newly appointed men’s head basketball coach Jim Fox announced Thursday that he has finished rounding out his coaching staff by adding three assistant coaches for the upcoming season.

Fox hired Jason Allison, Bryan Lentz and Mantoris Robinson, who bring a combined 27 years of coaching experience to the Mountaineers’ program.Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.22.46 AM

“I’m extremely excited about the coaching staff we’ve assembled,” Fox said in a statement from Appalachian State Athletics. “Not only will they be a wonderful addition to the Appalachian State and Boone communities, they will contribute the energy, work ethic and knowledge to help us reach our goal of excellence in every regard.”

Jason Allison
Allison worked at the Virginia Military Institute for nine seasons.

During his time as an associate coach and recruiting coordinator, he helped lead the Keydets to three appearances in the Big South Tournament title game.

Additionally, Allison helped VMI reach the semifinals of the 2014 Tournament.

Allison coached 23 all-Big South honorees, including the league’s 2013 Player of the Year, Stan Okoye. He also coached two Defensive Players of the Year, Travis Holmes – 2007 and D.J. Covington – 2013, 2014, and 2011 Freshman of the Year.

Twice in Allison’s time with VMI the Keydets surpassed the 20-win mark, a feat previously achieved by the institute only three times in the 97 years prior to his arrival.

“[Allison] has established himself as one of the premier assistant coaches in the southeast with his work at VMI,” Fox said in the statement. “[Allison] is a tireless worker on the recruiting trail, on the court and in the community. He helped turn around the program at VMI, and I fully expect he’ll do the same for us here.”

Bryan Lentz
Lentz comes to App State from the University of Texas where he spent the last four seasons (2010-14) as an assistant coach.

While at Texas, he helped with all internal operations for the Longhorn team, which saw NCAA Tournament action three times and boasted an overall record of 87-48 during his tenure.

“It is a huge addition to bring [Lentz] back to the state of North Carolina,” Fox said in the statement. “He is a jack of all trades and will be asked to wear many hats in this program. [Lentz] has always had success follow him and I am looking forward to working alongside him.”

Before working for the Longhorns, Lentz worked as an assistant coach at Lenoir-Rhyne for nine seasons (2001-08), where he helped lead the team to five South Atlantic Conference regular-season titles, one SAC tournament title and five NCAA Division II Tournament appearances.

Mantoris Robinson
Robinson comes to the Mountaineers after a two-year tenure at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. During his two seasons with the Falcons, Robinson coached five all-conference selections.

“[Robinson] was highly recommended from people in all circles of the collegiate coaching ranks,” Fox said in the statement. “As a player, he was a part of championship teams at Winthrop and knows what it takes to win. He has already begun sharing that knowledge with our players and relates to them very well. [Robinson] is an asset both on and off the court, and I am extremely happy to have him on our staff.”

Robinson helped lead the team to back-to-back 20-win seasons, which included a 23-9 record and a NCAA Division II tournament appearance in 2012-13.

Story: Kaitlyn Thruston, Senior Sports Reporter