Dalonte Hill leaves Kansas State

19 May

Kansas State announced in a press release this afternoon that associate head coach Dalonte Hill is leaving to join the staff of Maryland’s basketball team, which recently hired former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon as its head coach. The released statement from Kansas State head coach Frank Martin was as follows:

“There are few words to describe the impact Dalonte has had on our program. He has played a pivotal role in helping K-State get back to the forefront of college basketball.  I appreciate his support and commitment these five years.  Our relationship stretches many years, prior to coming to K-State, and he will always be a close friend.  I know this was an extremely difficult decision for him because he loves our players and this program.  However, the opportunity from him to get closer to home was too much to pass up.  We wish him and his family all the best, as they start this new chapter in their lives.”

Rumors about the move began a few days ago, and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise, especially considering that back on May 9 Kansas State announced that both Hill and assistant coach Brad Underwood had been invited to the Villa 7 Consortium, a national conference that initiates introductions and dialogue between assistant coaches (who are usually aspiring head coaches as well) and university administrators. The goal is to prepare them to one day become head coaches. Here is part of the description of the event, which took place May 11-12 in Virginia, from the Kansas State news release:

“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.”

Obviously, Wildcats will miss Hill, who is best known for being a superb recruiter. He used to coach the AAU team DC Assault, from which many skilled players – including Jamar Samuels, Dominique Sutton, Rodney McGruder and Wally Judge – have come. Probably Hill’s most famous recruit was one-and-done wonder Michael Beasley.

All and all, every assistant coach’s goal is to become a head coach someday. From everything I’ve seen and from how Martin has spoken about Hill, it certainly seems like he has earned the right to pursue whatever opportunity he thinks will best lead him to that goal.

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