Former Purdue Assistant Coach Jack Owens looks to revitalize a struggling program with energy and top recruits
Redhawks basketball will have a new leader patrolling the sidelines this Fall, as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2015-16 campaign. Jack Owens makes his move after being associate head coach at Purdue for the past six seasons. Purdue has experienced recent success under Owens’ leadership and recruiting, reaching the Sweet Sixteen this year. He will look to improve on the Redhawks’ 11-21 record and first-round MAC Tournament exit.
Owens is touted as an exceptional recruiter, which is exactly what an unsuccessful program needs in order to be resuscitated. He helped bring 2015-16 Big 10 player of the year Caleb Swanigan to Purdue, and will attempt to draw similar talent to Oxford. Owens has helped discover and grow five NBA draft picks, including AJ Hammons and Robbie Hummel.
It has been 10 years since Miami reached the NCAA Tournament, and has not won a game in the “Big Dance” since 1999. The Redhawks haven’t had a real top-tier talent since Wally Szczerbiak’s days at the university, but Owens may have something to say about that.
“I look forward to not only rebuilding this championship program, but also making this program one that all Miami alumni can be proud of,” said Owens.
Owens steps into a locker room filled with youth and promise. Of the 14 roster members this past season, seven were freshmen, including team leading scorer Michael Weathers, and his brother Marcus. Owens’ leadership and work ethic will add maturity and resilience to the Redhawks’ players, something the team largely lacked this past year, as they went 1-13 in away games.
One of Owens’ primary tasks heading into next season will be taming the freshman guard Michael Weathers. Weathers has proven he can be a player who can lead a team as an underclassman, however was prone to unnecessary mistakes, leading the team in turnovers by a wide margin at 4.8 per game. Weathers also fouled out of seven games this past season, a number which Owens is surely looking to reduce next season.
Athletic Director David Sayler said of Owens, “Character, work ethic, recruiting success, player development and a winning pedigree were all traits that made Jack stand out. When you combine all those factors with the understanding of how to win at an institution similar to Miami, in Purdue, it is easy to see why we are excited to have him as our head coach.”
A welcome event for the new head coach will be held this week, as well as an introductory press conference.