Also See: 'Cats Drop Series to Tigers, 12-8
HILL, UNDERWOOD TO ATTEND VILLA 7
By Mark Janssen
Kansas State assistant basketball coaches Dalonte Hill and Brad Underwood have received invitations to attend the Villa 7 Consortium, sponsored by Nike and Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Sport Leadership.
The purpose of the event is to bring athletic directors and the country's elite assistant men's and women's basketball coaches together to prepare both for the next generation of college basketball leaders.
"For the most part, assistant coaches have every little communication with administrators, so this is an opportunity to learn what they really are looking for," said Underwood. "I'm a bit old-school, but I'm afraid that these days you have to have an agent and someone to help promote you to these search firms and athletic directors."
The Villa 7 event started in 2005 and got its name because the first session was held in Las Vegas at The Mirage's Villa 7. Since then, 38 assistants who have been through the Villa program have landed head coaching positions.
"I don't know of any other thing going on in college basketball from an assistant's perspective that's more beneficial," said Marquette coach Buzz Williams, a Villa 7 alumni.
The highest profile coach from this past year's March Madness that went from assistant to a head coaching chair was Shaka Smart at VCU.
"Villa 7 did get me this job, no question,'' Smart said. "It didn't make me qualified for the job, but it provided me with the relationship to get the job. It's all about whom you know, and who you have relationships with. Without Villa 7, I don't have the relationships to get this job.''
Underwood emphasizes that he is most happy in his present capacity as an assistant at K-State, but says it's still a goal to become a head coach at the Division I level.
"I'm extremely blessed and fortunate to have the job that I do, but I've been a head coach (Daytona Beach Community College) before, and it's something that I want to do again," said Underwood, who added that he does not have an agent. "I have a great job and I work for great people. It would take a great situation with an opportunity to win for me to leave."
The May 11-12 session will include 54 ADs, 12 conference commissioners, plus 55 men's assistants and 21 women's assistants.
Panels hosted by ADs or head basketball coaches will include topics such as "The First 100 Days On The Job," "If I Knew Then What I Know Now," "Inside The NCAA Selection Process," plus a speed dating session where assistants will have mini-visits with a series of administrators.
One of the panels will be headed by former K-State assistant Mark Fox, who is now the head coach at Georgia.
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