Southern Utah University hired Rob Jeter to be the 10th men’s basketball head coach in program history. Jeter is coming off a 16-14 record with Western Illinois University, which is where he has spent the last three years at the helm.
“My family and I are so excited to join the SUU family and community,” said Jeter. “We are truly blessed to have this opportunity and to continue the successes that Todd Simon has had.”
Prior to Western Illinois, Jeter spent the 2018-20 seasons at the University of Minnesota as an assistant coach recruiting and developing players. During his stint there, the Gophers appeared in the NCAA Tournament as a member of the Big Ten Conference for the 2018-19 season.
Jeter will take over a Thunderbird team that has four departing seniors in Tevian Jones, Dee Barnes, Maizen Fausett and Harrison Butler. Graduate student Cameron Healy played his last year of college eligibility this season and was a huge spark off the bench. Sophomores Drake Allen and Jason Spurgin also put their names in the transfer portal, which depletes the entire starting five from a year ago.
A new lineup should not be an issue for Jeter. From 2016 to 2018, he was part of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas staff that produced the 12th-best recruiting class in the county for 2017.
Before his time at UNLV, Jeter was the head coach of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers from 2005 to 2016. He became the all-time winningest coach with a 184-170 record, which led the Panthers to a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005 and 2014.
Jeter has learned from great coaches like Bo Ryan at the University of Wisconsin from 2001 to 2005, who is in the top 30 for most wins as a college basketball coach. During Jeter’s four seasons as an assistant at Wisconsin, the program made the same amount of NCAA Tournament appearances.
“Rob has got a great bloodline. When he got to Platteville, everything turned around,” Ryan said. “As a player, he was the leader of every team he was on. As a coach, he would pick up something he wanted to do better at every job he had. He was a student of the game.”
Jeter has nearly 30 years of coaching experience at the Division I level and has a 223-215 record as a head coach. He will have the opportunity to construct his staff and team and hit the transfer portal right away to get players ready for the 2023-24 season.
Story by Chevy Blackburn
Graphic courtesy of SUU Athletics