Armon Gates hired as Northwestern assistant basketball coach

USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern's got their third and final assistant coach, and it's Armon Gates from Loyola (Chicago), who has done more than you did before you turned 27.

After losing Tavaras Hardy to Georgetown, Northwestern has its third assistant basketball coach, hiring Armon Gates away from Loyola (Chicago), completing Chris Collins' inaugural staff.

I hadn't heard much of Gates before the hiring, but it's pretty easy to get the message that he's a fast riser in the coaching profession. Dude was playing college basketball in 2007, and Northwestern is his fourth stop as a coach, so, yeah. He's from Country Club Hills in the south suburbs, and played ball at Kent State as a shooting-type guard, 6'1, hitting about 40 percent of his threes on his college career. He averaged 9.8 points as a senior in 2006-2007, then spent a year as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky, the year they had Courtney Lee and went to the Sweet 16.

In quick succession, dude coached at a) Kent State (two seasons) b) TCU -- Nikola Cerina!!! -- (one season) and c) Loyola (two seasons.) He was actually hired at Loyola to replace Pat Baldwin, who is now his fellow assistant coaches. The good thing is that he's clearly a hot young commodity on the coaching market. The bad thing is that if you look at the programs he's coached at, none of them have been particularly successful, but then again, he wasn't really at any of them long enough to make an impact.

With Gates' hiring, Northwestern now has a head coach and three assistant coaches who are Chi-town born and raised. The initial message of Northwestern's coaching staff with Hardy and Baldwin was "hey, look at how Northwestern we are," and now it's "hey, look at how Chicago we are." The former was probably better -- good to show kids that you can go to NU and be successful -- but this works too.

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