May 9, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State men’s basketball assistant coaches Dalonte Hill and Brad Underwood have received invitations to attend the Villa 7 Consortium, which is set for May 11-12 at Virginia Commonwealth’s Center for Sport Leadership in Richmond, Va.
The conference, which is co-sponsored by Nike and VCU’s Center for Sport Leadership, intends to introduce elite assistant men’s and women’s basketball coaches with athletics directors and conference commissioners to help better prepare them to become head coaches. The event will be include 54 athletics directors, 12 conference commissioners, 55 men’s assistants and 21 women’s assistants. Hill and Underwood will be among six Big 12 men’s assistant coaches at the conference, including Kansas’ Joe Dooley, Oklahoma State’s Chris Ferguson, Oklahoma’s Steve Henson and Texas’ Russ Springmann.
The Villa 7 event started in 2005 and got its name because the first session was held in Las Vegas at The Mirage Hotel’s Villa 7. Since then, 38 assistants who have gone through the program have landed head coaching positions at the Division I level, including 19 in 2011. Some of the famous Villa 7 alumni include Xavier’s Chris Mack, Memphis’ Josh Pastner, Marquette’s Buzz Williams and VCU’s Shaka Smart.
“It’s a nice honor for Dalonte and me to be invited,” said Underwood. “One of the hardest things to do is keep up on the constantly changing business of trying to become a head basketball coach. The days are gone where you have a head coach call an AD. It’s a lot more complicated now.”
Hill and Underwood have played a significant role in helping revitalize the K-State program under head coaches Bob Huggins and Frank Martin, which has tallied five consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history. The pair has helped the Wildcats to 118 wins the past five seasons, including 50 in Big 12 play, en route to five straight postseason appearances, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The 118 wins are the most in school history in a five-year span, shattering the previous mark of 107 wins set from 1957-62, while the 50 conference victories are the most since the squad had 56 from 1971-76.
Hill is currently in his sixth season at K-State, including his fifth as associate head coach under Martin. He is also in his fifth season as the program’s recruiting coordinator. A former Wildcat letterman under Jack Hartman, Underwood is in his sixth season at his alma mater, including his fifth as an assistant coach. He came back to Manhattan in May 2006 as director of basketball operations before being elevated to assistant coach by Martin for the 2007-08 season. Underwood has twice been a head coach at the junior college level at Dodge City [Kan.] Community College (1988-92) and Daytona Beach [Fla.] Community College (2003-06).
The two-day conference includes presentations from athletics directors and current head coaches with such topics as “The First 100 Days On The Job,” “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” and “Inside The NCAA Selection Process.” There will also be a “speed-dating” style event, where assistants will have mini-visits with a series of administrators.