Tennessee coach Rick Barnes hires Justin Gainey as assistant


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has hired veteran Justin Gainey as an assistant coach to fill out his staff.

Barnes announced the hiring Monday and called Gainey a proven national recruiter.

“I coached against Justin when he was the point guard at N.C. State,” Barnes said. “He was an incredibly tough competitor then, and he has that same tenacity now as a coach. Justin has a passion for on-court player development that fits well with our staff. Our players are going to love working with him to grow their game.

Gainey has 15 years of Division I experience. He spent this season as associate head coach at Marquette where he also worked from 2014-17. He was assistant coach at Santa Clara in 2017-18 and Arizona from 2018-20 where he helped recruit and develop 2020 NBA draft picks in Josh Green, Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion.

He worked for Jason Capel at Appalachian State from 2010-14, and his first on-court coaching job was in 2009-10 at Elon. Gainey started his coaching career at his alma mater N.C. State with two seasons as administrative coordinator before coach Sidney Lowe promoted him to director of basketball operations for 2008-09.

Gainey played four seasons at North Carolina State from 1996-2000.

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