Penn State assistant men’s basketball coach Lewis Preston was named head coach at Kennesaw State today after three seasons in Happy Valley.
According to Dave Jones, the job will pay around $165,000-$190,000, thats nearly double what Preston was earning at Penn State ($100,000). It will be Preston’s first head coaching job at the collegiate level after holding the position of assistant at four schools since 1998. Preston was an assistant at Coastal Carolina before joining Mike Brey’s staff at Notre Dame and then Billy Donovan’s staff at Florida where Preston would win back-to-back national championships.
Preston is deemed a ‘strong recruiter’ and has a specialty of developing forwards. Preston has developed talents such as Joakin Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green. This is definitely a good hire by Kennesaw State Athletic Director Vaughn Williams – the first of his tenure at Kennesaw State. A press conference will be held at Kennesaw State in the coming weeks to formally introduce their new coach.
Preston is nearly the third coach from the Penn State staff to leave this week. Ernie Nestor, the former Director of Basketball Operations, left for an assistant coaching job at Missouri earlier this week. Additionally, assistant coach Dan Earl was cited as a candidate for the then vacant head coaching job at Princeton before Northwestern assistant Mitch Henderson was hired.
It will be interesting to see who replaces Lewis Preston as a big man specialist next season. There are major issues on the front line for the Nittany Lions going into the 2011-12 season with the departure of senior forwards Andrew Jones, Jeff Brooks and David Jackson. The only returning forwards with experience (limited at that) are Billy Oliver and Sasa Bornjovnak, who is coming off a torn ACL that forced him to miss all of the 2010-11 campaign. Redshirt freshman Jonathan Graham and newcomers Peter Alexis and Pat Ackerman will also look to vie for playing time.