Lamont Paris named Chattanooga head men’s basketball coach

UW associate head coach leaves after seven seasons
Lamont Paris named Chattanooga head men’s basketball coach

Wisconsin men’s basketball associate head coach Lamont Paris has been named head coach of the Chattanooga men’s basketball program, as announced by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on Sunday.

A 20-year coaching veteran, Paris spent seven seasons coaching at Wisconsin and helped lead the Badgers to the NCAA tournament in each of those seven seasons. With Paris on the bench, UW averaged 27 wins per season and had an overall record of 189-66 (.741). The Badgers advanced to the Sweet 16 in six of Paris’ seven seasons, including back-to-back Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015.

“I’m excited for this new chapter of my career, but I am so thankful and grateful for the opportunity I had at the University of Wisconsin,” Paris said. “The city of Madison, the people, the players and staff of the Badgers’ program and the University are all very special to me and will be a place that I will always think of as home.

“I would like to specifically thank Barry Alvarez, Bo Ryan and Greg Gard for the opportunities and guidance they gave me. I am also indebted to all of the players and coaches I have had the privilege to work with throughout my career.”

“We are all very proud and excited for Lamont as he begins this new opportunity,” UW head coach Greg Gard said. “I have no doubt he’ll make a terrific head coach and this is a tremendous hire for Chattanooga. On a personal level, it’s bittersweet to see one of your best friends move away, but I’m so happy for him and so proud of him. He’s more than paid his dues and climbed the professional ladder the right way.

“I will always be grateful to Lamont for everything he did in seven years for this program, particularly over the past two seasons helping me in my transition to head coach. I’m looking forward to following his career closely and we’ll be sure to stay in close contact. The Mocs are undoubtedly in good hands.”

Prior to his time in Madison, Paris spent six seasons as an assistant coach at Akron. There, he served as the lead recruiter and helped guide the Zips to a 139-62 (.692) record and 20-win seasons in each of his final five years. Akron’s 23-10 record in 2005-06 marked the school’s first 20-win season since 1974-75.

Prior to his stint at Akron, Paris spent four seasons at Indiana University-Pennsylvania (IUP), helping the Indians compile an 82-36 (.695) record and claim two Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference titles. Paris also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at both DePauw (1999-00) and his alma mater, Wooster (1997-98).

Paris is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Black Coaches Association. He was one of five men’s assistant coaches selected to participate in the BCA’s “Achieving Coaching Excellence” program in 2007. Additionally, in 2007 he was inducted into Kaleidoscope Magazine’s Forty-Forty Club, a list consisting of Cleveland’s top 40 African-Americans age 40 and under who have made a difference in the community.

A native of Findlay, Ohio, Paris earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Wooster in 1996 and a master’s degree in recreation and sports management from Indiana State in 2000. Paris played four seasons for Wooster and was named team MVP and captain during the 1995-96 season. He was also an All-North Coast Athletic Conference pick during his last two seasons. During his playing career, the Scots made three trips to the NCAA Division III tournament and won a pair of conference titles.