April 3, 2006
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State head men's basketball coach Greg McDermott announced today the hiring of three assistants for the 2006-07 men's basketball season. Jeff Rutter and Ron Smith, who both coached with McDermott the last three seasons at Northern Iowa, were named assistant coach and director of basketball operations, respectively. Former AAU coach and junior college assistant T.J. Otzelberger has also been named an assistant coach.
Rutter, who was a part of the most prosperous period in Northern Iowa history in his three seasons with the Panthers (2003-06), will follow Iowa State head coach Greg McDermott to Ames as one of his assistant coaches, McDermott announced today.
"My relationship with Jeff goes back to when I was an assistant at North Dakota and he was an assistant at North Dakota State in the early 1990s." McDermott said. "He approaches his job with energy and enthusiasm and he is very well-rounded from his ability to be effective on the floor and as an outstanding recruiter."
Rutter was an assistant at UNI from 2003-06, where the Panthers compiled a 65-31 mark and made three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. In his first season in 2003-04, UNI won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and qualified for its first NCAA appearance since 1990. The following year (2004-05), UNI made its first ever at-large berth with a No. 11 seed while posting a 21-11 record. The Panthers tied a school record in wins in Rutter's final year at UNI with a 23-10 record. UNI recorded its highest at-large seed (No. 10) and appeared in the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in school history in 2006.
Three Panthers earned first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors four times in his three seasons in Cedar Falls, including Ben Jacobson, who was a two-time first-team all-MVC pick and a preseason Wooden Award nominee.
Rutter was the head coach at Wisconsin-Parkside from 1996-2003 before joining McDermott's staff. UW-P finished 15-13 overall his final season, its first winning record since 1988 when it recorded an 18-12 mark. In his rookie year as head coach in 1996-97, Rutter's team stunned the No. 1 team in the nation, the University of Indianapolis, 63-45. In his second season, the team posted its first back-to-back double-digit win seasons in 10 years.
In 2001-02, UW-P was nationally ranked (No. 16) for the first time since the school joined the Division II ranks. He completed his career with a 73-114 mark.
Rutter developed the Adopt-a-Ranger program and the Junior Rangers and built a strong connection with schools in the Racine-Kenosha area. His teams posted some of the highest grade point averages in the school's basketball 35-year history. He assisted in developing corporate sponsorship programs and was instrumental in the development of the Ranger Athletic Club and the men's basketball Dunk Club.
He also has taught at various levels, including serving as a clinical associate professor from 1996-2003 at UW-P, a lecturer at North Dakota State from 1990-95 and teaching at the elementary, junior and senior high school levels.
He served one year as an assistant at Stetson University in 1995-96 under former Iowa State assistant Randy Brown and was an assistant at North Dakota State from 1990-95. NDSU posted a 43-17 mark and made two NCAA tournament appearances his final two seasons there. The Bison advanced to the "Sweet 16" with a 21-9 mark in 1993-94 before earning their first North Central Conference championship in 14 years with a 22-8 record in 1994-95.
Rutter lettered in basketball and football at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, Wis. He played college basketball at both Wisconsin-Waukesha and Winona State, from where he earned his bachelor's degree in Physical Education in 1988. He received his master's in Physical Education from North Dakota State in 1992.
Rutter was born Jan. 28, 1965, in West Allis, Wis.. He and his wife, Shari, have a son, A.J.
Ron Smith, who spent the last eight seasons at Northern Iowa and has over 30 years of coaching experience at the high school and college level, has been named director of basketball operations, ISU head coach Greg McDermott announced today.
"Ron has been in the basketball business for over 30 years," McDermott said. "He is one of the most organized people I have ever been associated with. His knowledge was a great asset to me at UNI and he will continue to impact our program at Iowa State."
Smith began his tenure at UNI as an assistant on former head coach Sam Weaver's staff from 1998-2001. He stayed on at UNI when Greg McDermott was named head coach in 2001. He was an assistant coach in McDermott's first four seasons and took over director of basketball operations in McDermott's final season in 2005-06. Smith enjoyed unprecedented success while at UNI, helping the Panthers earn three consecutive NCAA Tournament bids while compiling a 65-31 record from 2004-06.
In 2003-04, UNI earned its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1990 after capturing the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title. David Gruber earned first-team all-MVC honors that season, as UNI took eventual Final Four participant Georgia Tech down to the wire in the first round NCAA Tournament game. The Panthers followed that season with a 21-11 record en route to their first ever at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. In Smith's final season at UNI, the Panthers cracked the Associated Press Top 25 rankings for the first time in school history while tying a school record with 23 wins. The Panthers, who earned their third-straight NCAA bid, had two players earn first-team all-MVC honors.
Prior to his tenure at UNI, Smith spent four years as Athletic Director and head basketball coach for Alton Community Unit School District. The district was comprised of 19 schools and about 8,000 students. His responsibilities included coordinating all athletic activities for 20 different sports and over 100 teams. Prior to his arrival in Alton, the varsity basketball teams had only one winning season in the previous eight. Smith's last team recorded its third consecutive winning record, setting a school mark for most wins in three consecutive years (63). The 1997 team advanced to the state tournament for the first time in 42 years, and only the third time in school history. His overall record at Alton was 74-40.
Before taking the Alton position, Smith spent nine years as an assistant at Southern Illinois and was part of a staff which turned one of the worst programs in the Missouri Valley Conference into one of the best programs. His last six years in Carbondale were highlighted by six consecutive post-season tournament appearances and four Valley titles (1990, 92, 93 and 94).
The Benton, Ill., native spent four years as an assistant basketball coach at Benton High School before accepting the SIU position, which included acting as academic advisor.
After graduating from Benton in 1972, Smith spent two years at Rend Lake College before transferring to Illinois State, from where he graduated in 1976. He earned his master's in Guidance and Educational Psychology from SIU in 1983. He joined Rich Herrin's staff at Benton in 1981 after serving as head coach and athletic director at Coulterville High School for five years. While at Benton, the teams were 103-22 overall and Smith's junior varsity teams posted an overall 43-6 record.
Smith has served as a sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapters at SIU and UNI. He was selected as an assistant coach for the 1998 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Class AA South All-Star Game, and received several other honors in 1997, including IBCA District 19 Coach of the Year, Telegraph Newspaper Coach of the Year, Belleville News Democrat Coach of the Year and in 1996, received his first Telegraph Newspaper Coach of the Year honor.
He and his wife, Regina, have three children - Tim (27), Matt (24) and Brooke (21).
T.J. Otzelberger, a former AAU coach and assistant at Chipola JC, has been named an assistant coach at Iowa State, ISU head men's basketball coach Greg McDermott announced today.
"What T.J. lacks in experience he makes up for in character and work ethic," McDermott said. "I believe he has a chance to be a superstar in this profession."
Otzelberger spent the last season with the Los Angeles-based AAU club Double Pump Elite, a prominent organization which operates basketball events that attract the nation's best players to help them gain exposure. In his only season with the club, Otzelberger coached Alex Stepheson, who signed with North Carolina, Alex Jacobson, an Arizona signee, and Oregon State's Calvin Haynes.
A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Otzelberger was an assistant at Chipola Junior College in Marianna, Fla., during the 2004-05 season. The Indians finished the year at 33-4 and won the Panhandle Conference title in Otzelberger's only season at CJC. The Indians, who were led by All-American and current Oklahoma State star Mario Boggan, placed fourth at the 2005 NJCAA national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., and had four players named first-team all-conference.
Prior to his stint at CJC, Otzelberger spent three seasons at Catholic Central High School in Burlington, Wis. He was an assistant varsity and junior varsity coach his first two years and then took over head coaching duties and athletic director responsibilities in his final year at the high school level (2003-04). He also was a physical education instructor at the high school.
Otzelberger, who was born Sept. 17, 1977, was a two-year team captain at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he earned his degree in business administration in 2001. He was named the team's defensive player of the year as a senior in 2000. He earned his master of science in curriculum and instruction from UW-Whitewater in 2004.
Jeff Rutter was an assistant for Greg McDermott at Northern Iowa the last three seasons.