By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech men's basketball head coach John Pelphrey put the finishing touches on his 2021-22 staff, announcing the addition of Justin Coleman as the team's director of basketball operations.
"We are thrilled to have Justin join our Tennessee Tech men's basketball family," Pelphrey said. "Once again, we treated our search the same way we handle our recruiting process of student-athletes, being intentional, deliberate, and process-oriented. We have a commitment to bring in people who are curious learners, value leadership, and have a passion to develop relationships with our young men. I know, without a doubt, that Justin will exceed expectations."
Coleman joins the Golden Eagle staff after completing a five-year career on the hardwood between stops at Alabama, Samford, and Arizona.
"First of all, I want to give God the glory for everything he has done in my life," Coleman expressed. "I am very grateful for this opportunity and excited to work with such a great staff."
Prior to his arrival in Cookeville, Coleman served as a basketball operations intern for the Utah Jazz of the NBA for four months. In the role, he provided support for basketball operations and scouting personnel, including database management, producing scouting credentials and logistics, and handling various projects for the department.
From the conclusion of his playing career in May 2019 through the end of the 2020-21 campaign, the Birmingham, Ala. native took on the role of graduate assistant with the Arizona men's basketball team. Coleman held duties such as film breakdown of opposing teams, training student-athletes, and assisting the coaching staff with a number of tasks.
He began his career on the court at the University of Alabama, competing for the Crimson Tide from 2014-16 as a freshman and sophomore. He played a combined 67 games in his two seasons in Tuscaloosa, averaging 6.1 points and 2.4 assists per game.
"We're excited to add Justin to our staff," Tech assistant coach Blake Gray said. "Justin and I spent a lot of time together in the gym and developed a great relationship during his time at Alabama. He has an unbelievable work ethic and has been an overachiever at every stop of his career. Justin boasts a lot of experience as a player, on a college staff, and with an NBA organization that will be major assets to our team."
Following his sophomore season, he transferred to Samford and sat out the 2016-17 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules. As a redshirt junior in 2017-18, he led the Bulldogs with 6.6 assists per game, shot 37.3 percent from 3-point range, and ranked second on the squad with 13.5 points per game while earning All-Southern Conference Second Team honors.
The point guard headed west to Tucson, Ariz. for his final year of eligibility, starting 31 games and playing in 32 total. He averaged 8.9 points while pacing the Wildcats with 3.8 assists per game and shooting at a 36.0 percent clip from downtown. He also earned a spot on the 2018 Maui Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Coleman earned his bachelor's degree in public administration from Samford University in May 2018. He added his master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Arizona in July 2019. He is currently pursuing his doctorate of educational leadership from Arizona.
"Coach Pel [Pelphrey] hit another home run with the hiring of Justin," assistant coach Alex Fain added. "He is a first-class individual that treats everyone with kindness and respect. His wealth of knowledge from the different experiences he had as a player will be of great value as he leads our young men in this role. We are absolutely thrilled to have Justin join our team."