Official Release: Southwell hired as hoops assistant
Kansas State head coach Bruce Weber announced the addition of former Wildcat player and graduate assistant Shane Southwell as the program’s newest assistant coach on Tuesday (March 31).
A four-year standout (2010-14) and graduate assistant (2017-19) for the Wildcats, Southwell returns to his alma mater after a one-year stint as an assistant coach at Robert Morris, where he helped lead the Colonials to a 20-win season and the Northeast Conference (NEC)’s automatic bid to the 2020 NCAA Tournament with a 77-67 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in the tournament championship on March 10.
“We are excited to welcome Shane back to K-State,” said Weber. “It’s always a proud moment for a coach when one of your former players not only goes into the coaching profession, but also puts the hard work and commitment necessary to being good at it. As a player, you knew Shane had the drive and personality to be an excellent coach. He just has a great feel and IQ for the game of basketball. It is always good to have a former player on your staff who not only can relate to the current players, but also has a special pride for K-State.”
In his two stints with K-State as both a player and graduate assistant, Southwell has been a part of some of the most successful teams in school history, including the second-most wins in school history (27) as a junior in 2012-13 and the first-ever consecutive 25-win campaigns in school history in two years as a graduate assistant. All told, he has been involved in 142 victories, including 68 in Big 12 play, two Big 12 regular-season championships (2013, 2019) and six NCAA Tournament appearances (four as a player and two as a graduate assistant).
Southwell is one of just six players in school history to be a part of conference championship teams as both a player (2012-13) and as a member of the coaching staff (2018-19), joining the likes of Ernie Barrett, Bill Guthridge, Lon Kruger, Howard Shannon and Darryl Winston.
“Obviously, I’m really excited to be back in Manhattan, Kansas and representing my alma mater at this juncture of my career is such an honor,” said Southwell. “I’m looking forward to getting this program back to where it has been the last few years.”
Southwell is the 11th individual to both play and serve as an assistant coach at K-State and the first since current Illinois head coach Brad Underwood (player: 1985-86 / director of operations/assistant coach: 2006-12). He joins a list that also includes famed North Carolina assistant coach and head coach Bill Guthridge (player: 1959-60 / assistant coach: 1964-68), current Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger (player: 1972-74 / assistant coach: 1978-82 / head coach: 1987-90) and current SMU head coach Tim Jankovich (player: 1980-82 / assistant coach: 1984-86).
Others on this exclusive group includes K-State All-American Ernie Barrett (1949-51/1959-64) and Dean Danner (1977-80/1980-81), Roy DeWitz (1956-58/1964-65), Howard Shannon (1948/1954-64), Larry Weigel (1965-67/1969-71) and Darryl Winston (1974-77/1979-80, 1982-86).
“As a graduate assistant, Shane did an excellent job and was great at relating to our players and learning the game,” said Weber. “He became a very valuable member of the coaching staff for USA Basketball last summer and was instrumental in helping us win the gold medal at the U19 World Cup. He did a great job with scouting the other teams (in the tournament) and his relationships with the players was very positive. I got nothing but tremendous feedback from the USA Basketball staff and other coaches with the way he handled himself.
I always tell young coaches to take advantage of their opportunities and Shane did that in his one year at Robert Morris. They had a great year, won 20 games and would’ve qualified for the NCAA Tournament. He is a good mix for our staff and the fact that he knows our players will be a huge benefit during this time of transition.”
A native of Harlem, New York, Southwell was a four-year standout for the Wildcats from 2010-14, helping the Wildcats advance to four consecutive NCAA Tournament and capture the school’s first-ever Big 12 regular-season championship in 2012-13. He finished his career with 92 wins, which ties him for ninth all-time in school history, while he is one of just eight Wildcats to advance to the NCAA Tournament all four seasons as a player.
A 2013 honorable mention All-Big 12 selection, Southwell started 26 of 33 games for the 2012-13 Big 12 champions, averaging 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a junior. For his career, he scored 741 points (5.9 ppg.) on 40.2 percent shooting (269-of-669), including 35.2 percent (95-of-270) from 3-point range, and shot 69.2 percent (108-of-156) from the free throw line to go with 271 assists (2.2 apg.), 87 steals (0.7 spg.), 75 blocks (0.6 bpg.) in 126 games played with 68 starts. He finished his career ranking in the Top 10 in three categories and ranks just outside the career Top 10 in games played (126) and assists (271).
Upon his graduation from K-State, Southwell played professionally in various places around the world, including Mexico, Australia and Switzerland. Most recently, he played for Winterthur in the Swiss LNA in 2017, averaging 15.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
Following time spent playing professionally, Southwell spent two seasons as a graduate student manager (2017-18) during which the Wildcats posted consecutive 25-win campaigns for the first time in school history. K-State recorded its first 25-win season in five years and made its 12th trip to the Elite Eight in 2017-18 then followed it with another 25-win campaign and a share of the Big 12 regular-season title in 2018-19. His primary duties included the initial breakdown of video, the gathering of scouting information and coordinating film exchange.
After his second year as a graduate student manager, Southwell briefly held the position of director of student-athlete development before taking the assistant coaching position at Robert Morris.
Success followed Southwell to Robert Morris, where he helped the Colonials to a 20-14 overall record, including a 13-5 mark in Northeast Conference play, and their ninth NEC Tournament Championship with a 77-67 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on March 10 and the league’s automatic bid to the 2020 NCAA Tournament.
After starting the season with a 2-8 record, which included seven road games and trips to Notre Dame and Marquette, RMU bounced back to post an 18-6 mark the rest of the way and finish in a second-place tie with Saint Francis in the NEC regular-season standings behind Merrimack, who was ineligible for postseason play due to its NCAA transition period. The Colonials earned the top-seed at the NEC Tournament for the first time since 2014 with a 78-68 win over Saint Francis on Feb. 29.
The win over Saint Francis helped RMU start a 4-game winning streak to end the season, which included wins over St. Francis Brooklyn (59-58), LIU (86-66) and Saint Francis (77-67) in the NEC Tournament.
Southwell helped coach a pair of All-NEC selections in senior guard Josh Williams and junior forward A.J. Bramah, who earned spots on the league’s Second Team. Williams ranked 13th in the league in scoring at 13.6 points per game, while Bramah (13.4 ppg., 8.2 rpg.) ended the season scoring in double figures in 28 of the last 29 games. He also coached sophomore guard Dante Treacy, who was named NEC Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) after averaging 12.3 points, 5.7 assists and 2.7 steals in the team’s three-game tournament run.
Prior to joining the Robert Morris staff, Southwell played a pivotal role in helping Team USA to the gold medal at the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) U19 World Cup during the summer of 2019. As the team’s video coordinator on a coaching staff that included Weber (head coach) and college head coaches Mike Hopkins (Washington) and LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central) as assistant coaches, Southwell helped Team USA to their seventh gold medal at the U19 World Cup, including the first since 2015, with a perfect 7-0 record.
Team USA averaged better than 100 points per game and won the tournament by an average of 28.7 points per game, including victories over New Zealand (111-71), Lithuania (102-84) and Senegal (87-58) to capture Group A then wins over Latvia (116-66) in the group of 16, Russia (95-80) in the medal round, Lithuania (102-67) in the semifinals and Mali (93-79) in the finals.
A member of the Rivals150 as a high school senior at famed Rice High School in New York City, Southwell helped the Raiders to 21-6 overall record and a final No. 4 ranking in the city by the New York Post in 2009-10. He guided Rice to 46 wins as a junior and senior, including the 2009 Class AA State Championship.
Born February 12, 1992 (28 years old), he earned his bachelor’s degree in communications studies in 2014, while he earned a Master’s degree in College Student Personnel and Intercollegiate Athletics in 2019.
At 28, Southwell would be the second-youngest assistant coach in the Big 12, following Oklahoma State’s Cannen Cunningham, who is 26 (May 7, 1993).
Southwell takes the place of Brad Korn, who was selected as the head coach at SE Missouri State on March 23.
Kansas State – Named Shane Southwell assistant coach.
Q&A: PROVIDED BY K-STATE ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS
Q: When did you know you wanted to coach?
"I have always had the thought of coaching once my playing career was over. That was probably back in high school when I first started to think about that. I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in. It was either going to be some form of commentating or coaching (my future plans). And coaching kind of just came a part of my situation. I turned 25 (and finished my playing career) and Coach (Bruce) Weber called me and asked me to be a grad assistant at K-State."
Q: How would describe your coaching style?
"That's a hard question right now at this stage in my career, but right now, I think it's to be a guy who can be a bridge to student-athletes and be relatable. At 28, I am able to connect to student-athletes really well. Also, the player development side of things is really, really key and something that I bring to the table that is important to student-athletes. Just to help them get better every day."
Q: How would you describe your experience as a student-athlete at K-State?
"Just a great experience. I grew a lot in that time period as a student-athlete. Obviously, coming from Harlem, New York, the start of my career was a bit of a culture shock for me, but then it became home. I grew a lot as a basketball player and just got better and better as a basketball player. But most importantly, I just grew as a human, as a person, so much in that time period. I was able to experience a really, special culture and lifestyle and meet people and develop friendships with teammates that will last a lifetime."
Q: What's your biggest memory as a player?
"Definitely, winning a Big 12 Championship (as a junior) when we hadn't won a conference championship since 1977 is a big memory for me. It was a big, big accomplishment especially with the coaching change and guys having to lean on one another to be a part of history."
Q: What was your biggest lesson learned as a player?
"Honestly, when you go through a coaching change (as a student-athlete), it's pretty life changing. It's a lot easier now for student-athletes especially with the transfer portal and the numbers that are transferring now. But for me, the transition from (head coach) Frank Martin to (head coach) Bruce Weber, I was able to look in the mirror and say 'two different coaches and you can be the common denominator (to continue this success).' For me personally, it was an opportunity for me to look in the mirror and really mature as a student-athlete."
Q: What kind of advantage is it for you to having played at K-State and now recruiting players to K-State?
"It's a huge advantage. It's one thing to sell a program, but another to sell a program that you personally have grown and developed in yourself. For me, it's really, really important and a special, special situation because who can best tell the story of a program than someone has been through it."
Q: How would you describe your first year as a full-time assistant at Robert Morris?
"It was a big-time learning experience. I was able to be a sponge to an already great coach in (head coach) Andy Toole. I was able to learn so much from him, not only from an X's and O's standpoint, but in the recruiting world. How it is to be the CEO (of a program) and to be a brand. He does a great job of building his program and that's something that I will definitely incorporate in my coaching style for when I get the opportunity to run my own program."
Q: Success has seemed to follow you. You won a state title in high school, won a Big 12 title and advanced to four NCAA Tournaments as a player at K-State, won 25 games in back-to-back seasons as a graduate assistant then just won 20 games and won a conference title in your first-year as a full-time assistant. What's the secret?
"Honestly, it's about being around the right people, cherishing those relationships and knowing how to build everyone around you. I think I have always done a good job of being relatable to everyone around me to my teammates to my coaches and now as a coach. I think it's very important to have a relationship with everyone around the program. I think it's something that I have been able to master and has been really, really beneficial to me as a player and now as a coach."