Sports | Men's Basketball

Men’s basketball announces coaching staff

Men’s basketball head coach Jim Engles finalized his coaching staff on Wednesday ahead of the 2016-17 season.

Jean Bain and Jared Czech are set to take over as assistant coaches, while Jonathan Safir will serve as director of basketball operations following a one-year stint as the squad’s graduate manager. 

They will join new assistant Jesse Agel on Engles’ staff, as Columbia looks to follow up one of the most successful seasons in program history. The Lions won a team-record 25 games and captured the CIT title last March.

But just days after becoming the second-ever Ivy team to win a postseason tournament, former head coach Kyle Smith departed for the University of San Francisco. 

Columbia moved swiftly to hire NJIT’s Jim Engles as Smith’s replacement before Jesse Agel joined the staff in early May. Agel had been Engles’ assistant at NJIT for three years and brings a deep knowledge of the Ivy League, having served as Brown’s head coach from 2008-12. 

Bain also enters the fold with great familiarity with the Ancient Eight. He spent the last four years as an associate head coach at Dartmouth, and earned plaudits for his work in developing the Big Green’s array of talented post players, most notably former All-Ivy forward Gabas Maldunas. 

Czech arrives in Morningside Heights after serving as the director of basketball operations on Engles’ staff with the Highlanders in 2014-15. Meanwhile, Safir is set to begin his second season with the Lions, having joined former head coach Kyle Smith’s staff a year ago. 

“I’m very excited to have these guys on my staff,” Engles said in a statement. “They bring great experience, energy and passion to the table and are the right people to help lead Columbia basketball to new heights.”

daniel.radov@columbiaspectator.com | @CUSpecSports

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