Tim Miles filled the opening on his coaching staff on Monday by hiring Armon Gates as an assistant coach, according to the university.
Gates accepted a the associate head coach position under Mike White at Florida on April 8 after spending five seasons as an assistant to Chris Collins at Northwestern. A few weeks later, he’s headed to Lincoln to replace the departed Kenya Hunter who left Nebraska to accept a position at UConn on April 9.
“I really enjoyed my brief time at Florida,” Gates said. “Coach Mike White and his staff are tremendous people and great friends. Last week, I consulted Coach White about approaching Tim Miles regarding the Nebraska coaching position. After visiting Lincoln and the campus, it became clear to me Nebraska was a great fit. I’m greatly appreciative of Florida and Coach White for the opportunity be part of Gator Nation. I am really looking forward to a new beginning at Nebraska.”
After back-to-back seasons under .500 in Collins’ first two years at the helm, Gates helped lead the Wildcats to a 20-12 record in 2015-16 and then to a 24-12 record in 2016-17, landing Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament for the first time where the Wildcats won their first round game before falling in the second round. This past year, Northwestern fell back to 15-17 despite opening the season in the top 25.
Before Northwestern, Gates spent two seasons as an assistant at Loyola-Chicago and one at TCU. Gates’ first assistant coaching job came at his alma mater, Kent State, where he spent two seasons and helped the Golden Flashes go 43-25 with a regular season conference title in 2009-10. After completing his master’s degree at Akron in 2007, Gates began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Western Kentucky as the Hilltoppers went 29-7 and advanced to the Sweet 16.
As a player, Gates finished his career at Kent State in 2006 tied for second in school history in 3-point field goals with 200. The Golden Flashes went 88-42 with four 20-win seasons during his career.
Gates is a Chicago native with extensive recruiting ties in the area. He attended Brewster Academy in New Hampshire where current Husker freshman Thomas Allen came from. Gates is known as a high-energy coach in workout settings with a strong record of player development.
“I have known Armon for several years and spent quality time with him,” Miles said in a statement. “What immediately becomes clear about him is his positivity and high energy. He will be a good role model for our players. He will be an excellent teacher of the game and will do a phenomenal job recruiting, as he’s proven over the years at Northwestern, Kent State, and Loyola-Chicago. We are really happy to add Armon and his family to Husker Nation.”
Following a 22-11 season and an NIT appearance by the Huskers, new Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos extended Miles’ contract by one year through 2021.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.