June 10, 2011
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Looking to maintain the program's momentum and consistency, Kansas State head men's basketball coach Frank Martin announced today several coaching staff promotions, including the elevation of Lamont Evans as a full-time assistant coach.
In addition to the promotion of Evans, who has spent the past three years as an undergraduate and graduate manager at K-State, Martin also announced that assistant coach Brad Underwood has been promoted to associate head coach and assistant coach Matt Figger to recruiting coordinator.
Underwood and Figger will earn enhanced base salaries of $205,000 and $185,000, respectively, in 2011-12. Evans will earn a base salary of $135,000 for 2011-12.
"Lamont has really earned this opportunity," said Martin. "After recommending him to other head coaches around the country early in the spring, I knew I had a great candidate in-house when Dalonte left the staff. He has really earned everyone's trust, including most importantly, the players. He has a great basketball mind and an engaging personality. I think all of these characteristics will make an outstanding assistant coach."
"I'm also excited to reward Brad and Matt with these new roles," he said. "These past five years, Brad has earned the right to assist me with the daily decisions of running our program. Matt has been assisting Dalonte with organizing our recruiting efforts these past few years and he is very prepared to take over this responsibility. Both guys have been an integral part of our success and I'm looking forward to having them by my side as we continue to build this program."
Evans has played a pivotal role in the development of the program the past three years, beginning as an undergraduate student manager in 2008-09 then continuing as a graduate manger from 2009-11. In this role, Evans' primary duties included the initial breakdown of game video, scout assistance and film exchange. He assisted the staff with recruiting and team travel, along with other administrative duties.
During this span, he has helped K-State post a 74-31 (.705) overall record, which has included three trips to the postseason highlighted by consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm really excited and grateful to Coach Martin for the opportunity to be here at K-State," said Evans. "It has been a great experience to watch the development of this program under his guidance the past three years. To watch guys like Denis (Clemente) and Jake (Pullen) come in and develop into not only outstanding basketball players, but solid student-athletes has been a great learning experience for me. I'm honored to work alongside such a close-knit group of coaches and look forward to working with them to build on an already solid foundation."
A native of Eleuthera, Bahamas, Evans came to the United States as a youngster, eventually settling in Deerfield Beach, Fla. He developed into a standout point guard at Hallandale High School in Hallandale, Fla., where he earned second team Florida Class 5A All-State honors as a junior in 1994-95 before collecting first team accolades as a senior in 1995-96. He was twice named first team All-Broward County Conference honors.
Evans played his first two years of college basketball at Seminole (Fla.) Junior College in Sanford, Fla., and St. Catharine College in St. Catharine, Ky., before enrolling at Drake in 1999. He averaged 19.0 points and 7.1 assists as a freshman at Seminole in 1996-97 before playing his sophomore season at St. Catharine in 1997-98.
It was during his time at St. Catharine that earned him Division I scholarship offers, as he averaged 16.2 points, 10.1 assists and 5.3 rebounds in guiding the Patriots to an 18-11 record. His assist average ranked third nationally, earning him Super Sixty Sophomores Junior College All-American honors from Future Stars. He was also the most valuable player of Region VII. He scored a season-high 29 points against Volunteer (Tenn.) State Junior College, while he dished a career-high 19 assists vs. Cincinnati State Junior College.
Evans played two seasons for then head coach Kurt Kanaskie at Drake, appearing in 42 games for the Bulldogs from 1999 to 2001. Despite missing the last 10 games of the 1999-2000 season, he finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference in assists (5.1 per game) en route to earning honorable mention All-MVC honors and All-Newcomer Team accolades. His 148 assists as a junior still rank fourth on the school's single-season list. He was the preseason Missouri Valley Newcomer of the Year by both Basketball Times and Athlon magazines in 1999.
Evans nearly became the first player in league history to record a triple-double in 1999-2000 after collecting nine points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a win over Mississippi Valley State despite missing the final eight minutes. He led the Bulldogs in assists in 23 games, including 10 against Illinois-Chicago.
For his career, Evans averaged 8.0 points on 41.5 percent shooting, including 36.3 percent from 3-point range, with 5.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 34.1 minutes per game.
Following his college career, Evans spent seven years playing professionally around the world. This included stops in the U.S. Basketball League, playing for the Lakeland (Fla.) Blue Ducks, and internationally with teams in Slovenia, Germany, Finland, Belgium and Venezuela. He led squads in Slovenia and Belgium to championships, while he was named one of the top international point guards during his stint in Germany.
Evans, 33, earned his bachelor's degree in social science from Kansas State in the spring of 2009. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in College Student Personnel and Intercollegiate Athletics.
A former Wildcat letterman under legendary coach Jack Hartman, Underwood is in his sixth season as his alma matter, including his fifth as an assistant coach. He returned to Manhattan in May 2006 as director of basketball operations under former head coach Bob Huggins before he was elevated to assistant coach by Martin for the 2007-08 season. During his tenure, Underwood has helped the Wildcats post 118 wins, including 50 in Big 12 play, en route to five consecutive 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.
Underwood is in his 24th season as a college basketball coach, which includes two stints as a head coach at the junior college level at Dodge City [Kan.] Community College (1988-92) and Daytona Beach [Fla.] Community College (2003-06). He has also been an assistant coach at Hardin-Simmons (1986-87) and Western Illinois (1992-2003).
"I'm certainly appreciative of the confidence that John (Currie) and Frank (Martin) has in me to serve in this new role," said Underwood. "I'm lucky that I not only get to work at my alma mater, but also get to work with a great group of coaches in Frank, Matt (Figger), Lamont (Evans), Andy (Assaley) and Scott (Greenawalt). I'm excited about continuing to build on the solid foundation that we have built these past few seasons.
Underwood received much acclaim during the 2010-11 season, as Martin took his suggestion of adjusting the offensive scheme to the "pinch-post" in early January. As a result, the Wildcats were able to rattle off nine wins in their last 11 regular-season games to earn their fifth consecutive 20-win season and their third trip to NCAA Tournament in four seasons. Among those nine victories were its second straight over the nation's top-ranked team (No. 1 Kansas) and its first over a Top 10 squad (No. 7 Texas) on the road since 1994.
Underwood recently was one of 55 assistant coaches nationally, including one of six in the Big 12, to attend the prestigious Villa 7 Consortium at Virginia Commonwealth's Center for Sport Leadership in Richmond, Va. The conference intends to help assistant coaches by having them interact with athletics directors and conference commissioners to better prepare them to become head coaches.
A native of McPherson, Kan., Underwood, 47, earned his bachelor's degree in radio and television communications from Kansas State in 1986. He was a two-year letterman and guard for the Wildcats from 1984-86 under Hartman. Underwood and his wife, Susan, have a son, Tyler, and two daughters, Katie and Ashley.
Figger is in his 19th season as a college basketball coach, including his fifth as an assistant coach at K-State. He assumes the recruiting coordinator position vacated by Dalonte Hill.
Since joining the staff in June 2007, Figger has helped the Wildcats to four consecutive 20-win seasons and a quartet of postseason appearances, including NCAA Tournament bids in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances are the first since the squad went to four consecutive tournaments from 1987-90. Overall, the Wildcats have posted a 95-43 (.688) overall record, including a 40-24 (.625) mark in Big 12 play, during Figger's tenure. The 95 wins tie for the most in a four-year period in school history.
"I'm obviously thankful to both Frank and the administration to continue in this expanded role," said Figger. "We have a great staff here at K-State and it obviously starts with Frank's leadership. It's a pleasure to work alongside these guys. I'm excited to get back out and keep the momentum going into next season."
Figger came to K-State after spending four years an assistant coach at South Alabama (2003-07), where he helped the Jaguars to a 66-50 (.569) overall record. He guided the program to some of their greatest successes his last two seasons, where they posted 44 wins, including 25 in Sun Belt Conference play, consecutive league West Division titles, the 2006 league tournament and 2007 regular season crowns. The Jaguars also reached the postseason in back-to-back seasons, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eight years in 2006 before earning a bid to the NIT in 2007.
Prior to his tenure at USA, Figger spent 10 years as an assistant coach in the junior college ranks, including stints at Wabash (Ill.) College (1993-94), Vincennes (Ind.) University (1995-99) and Odessa (Texas) College (2000-02).
A native of Jenkins, Ky., Figger, 41, earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Eastern Kentucky in 1995. He played college baseball at Pikeville College in Pikeville, Ky., from 1990-91 before completing his education at EKU.
Kansas State - Named Lamont Evans assistant men's basketball coach; promoted assistant coach Brad Underwood to associate head coach and Matt Figger to assistant coach/recruiting coordinator.