T.J. Otzelberger, who spent the previous seven seasons at Iowa State, will become an assistant coach for Lorenzo Romar's Huskies.
Plugging a hole on the coaching staff wasn’t necessarily the top priority for Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar this offseason.
The Huskies have more pressing concerns, particularly a relatively thin and inexperienced front line.
They were hoping to pick up a veteran forward via transfer this week, but instead added assistant T.J. Otzelberger, who spent the previous seven seasons at Iowa State. The 35-year-old Milwaukee native had been an associate head coach for the Cyclones since 2010.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Otzelberger expressed a desire to become a head coach. He said one of the reasons he chose Washington was Romar’s track record for helping assistants become head coaches, including Randy Bennett (Saint Mary’s) and Cameron Dollar (Seattle University).
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“I just felt like this was the next step in my progression,” Otzelberger told AP.
In a statement from UW, Romar called Otzelberger a “tenacious recruiter.”
During his time on Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg’s staff, Otzelberger also helped in game-planning. The Cyclones made consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 12 years.
Otzelberger replaces Lamont Smith, who spent one year at UW before leaving last month for New Mexico.
The rest of the Huskies staff includes assistants Jim Shaw, Brad Jackson and Paul Fortier, who was director of player of personnel last season.
UNLV transfer Mike Moser has apparently made his decision and it wasn’t good news for two of his three finalists, Washington and Gonzaga. Moser committed to Oregon, according to DuckTerritory.com. The website quoted a text from Moser’s AAU coach and mentor, Kumbeno Memory, saying, “Mike just committed to Oregon.”
Moser, a 6-foot-8 forward from Grant High School in Portland, played one season at UCLA and two at UNLV.
The Huskies lose Aziz N’Diaye but return Shawn Kemp Jr., Desmond Simmons and Jernard Jarreau. Gonzaga takes a big hit with the loss of center Kelly Olynyk and senior Elias Harris, but returns promising Polish rising sophomore Przemek Karnowski and fifth-year senior Sam Dower.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @percyallen.
Staff reporter Bud Withers contributed to this article