Tennessee coach Rick Barnes hires Rod Clark as assistant


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has filled one of the openings on his staff by hiring Rod Clark as a new assistant.

Barnes announced the hiring Monday after losing two assistants to head coaching jobs. Assistant Oliver Desmond was introduced Monday as the new coach at East Tennessee State, while Kim English was hired as the head coach at George Mason last month.

Clark, 28, has only coached two seasons in college basketball but has worked with players like Tyrese Maxey and Shaq Harrison in the NBA and Drew Timme, now an All-American at Gonzaga.

“We weren’t the only high-major program who wanted him, but thankfully he wanted to be at Tennessee,” Barnes said. “He fits everything we prioritize in our program culture, and I know he is going to connect with our players in a special way.”

The native of Kansas City, Missouri, spent this past season as an assistant at Austin Peay where Terry Taylor was named the Ohio Valley Conference player of the year. Clark worked at Illinois-Chicago in 2019-20.

He spent 2017-19 working at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas working as the top assistant coach overseeing player development, video breakdown and scouting at the prep basketball powerhouse. He also has coached with MoKan Elite on the Nike EYBL circuit, winning the Peach Jam title in 2019 with Kennedy Chandler, a McDonald’s All-American who will be a freshman at Tennessee this fall.

More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and updated bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket

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