Sports

Former Saluki star Williams among Harris’ new assistants at SIUE

Southern Ilinois University Edwardsville’s men's basketball coach Jon Harris has begun filling out his coaching staff ahead of the Cougars' 2015-16 season. Kent Williams and Tarrance Crump have joined Harris' coaching staff at SIUE.

Williams is reunited with Harris after taking a year off of coaching duties. The native of Mount Vernon was on Cuonzo Martin's staff as an assistant with Harris for three seasons at Tennessee from 2011-2014 and Missouri State from 2008-2010.

He enjoyed a standout playing career under Bruce Weber at Southern Illinois University Carbondale from 1999-2003, where he remains the Salukis’ second-leading scorer all-time with 2,012 career points. Williams was inducted into the SIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010 and was named to SIUC's 25-man All-Century team in 2013.

"I've known Kent for a long time," Harris said. "We competed against each other in high school; and between Missouri State and Tennessee, we've been in the trenches together for six years.

?”He knows what it looks like to build a program the way we want it done. He has a great knowledge of the game and is very familiar with this region from a recruiting standpoint."

During Williams' time on staff, the Volunteers improved from 19 wins in 2012-13 to 20 wins in 2012-13 to 24 wins in the 2013-14. Tennessee advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2014 and won a school-record three tournament games en route to an appearance in the Sweet 16.

With Williams on staff at Missouri State, the Bears averaged more than 20 wins per season. Missouri State improved in each of the three seasons with Williams on staff, including a school-record turnaround in wins from just 11 wins during the 2008-09 season to 24 wins in 2009-2010. That season, the Bears won the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament. The program captured its first-ever Missouri Valley Conference regular season title and earned an NIT berth during the 2010-2011 season.

From 2005-2008, Williams served on Matt Painter's staff at Purdue as the Boilermakers' supervisor of basketball operations. Purdue improved from last in the Big Ten in 2005-06 to second place in 2006-07. The Boilermakers set a school record for turnaround from nine wins in 2005-06 to 24 wins in 2006-07.

Williams is the all-time leading scorer at Mount Vernon Township High School and also is a member of the school's Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Crump begins his first season as a full-time Division I assistant coach after serving last season as the Assistant Director of Operations at California. While at Cal, Crump was involved in many facets of the Bears' program. He was responsible for film breakdown following games, assisted with scouting reports, served as the staff liaison to the academic advisor, managed basketball camps, and organized community service events for the student-athletes.

"Tarrance and I have been together for several years now, and he understands our way of doing things," Harris added. "He played in a familiar environment at Purdue under Matt Painter. He has a keen ability to foster and develop strong relationships which is absolutely vital in this profession. Tarrance is a tireless worker; he won't stop until the job is done."

The Chicago native handled many of the same duties during one season as an intern on staff at Tennessee. Crump was on staff during the 2013-14 season in which the Volunteers advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance thanks to a school-record three tournament wins.

Crump was the boy's basketball coach at Vine Middle School during the 2012-2013 season and the head women's basketball coach at North Lawndale College Prep in 2011-2012 where his team won 20 games while also achieving the highest team grade point average in school history.

As a player, Crump spent his final two collegiate seasons at Purdue under Painter. Crump played in 67 games, while making 15 starts, averaging 5.0 points per game. The team won 47 games during his two seasons and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament each season.

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