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Wizards promote Tony Brown to Associate Head Coach, add four more to staff including stats guru Dean Oliver

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Jarrell Christian, Mike Longabardi, Dean Oliver and Corey Gaines are the other new additions to the Wizards’ staff.

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Tony Brown was promoted to Associate Head Coach of the Washington Wizards.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Washington Wizards announced on Thursday that they named Jarell Christian, Mike Longabardi, Dean Oliver and Corey Gaines to the staff. Tony Brown was promoted to Associate Head Coach after already holding the role of the team’s top assistant coach for the last three seasons.

What does each of the new coaches bring to the table?

Jarell Christian

Greensboro Swarm v Capital City Go-Go
Jarell Christian
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

Christian was the Capital City Go-Go’s head coach in the 2018-19 G-League season and coached them to a 25-25 record which is very strong for an expansion team. In this role, he will now get time with the parent franchise which will help him grow further.

Mike Longabardi

Milwaukee Bucks v Cleveland Cavaliers
Mike Longabardi was on championship winning squads with the Celtics and Cavaliers.

Longabardi comes to the Wizards from the Cleveland Cavaliers where he was part of their 2015-16 NBA championship team as an assistant. He also served as the top assistant on Larry Drew’s squad last season in Cleveland.

Before going to Cleveland, he was with the Phoenix Suns and spent six years with the Boston Celtics where he was on their 2007-08 championship team.

Dean Oliver

Since the Nuggets hired Dean Oliver as Director of Quantitative Analysis three years ago to crunch numbers, he has become a bigger part of the organization. Oliver looks at rouge numbers for players in certain situations and compares them to what the Nugg
Dean Oliver is regarded as one of the first major figures in basketball analytics.
Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Of all the coaches who joined the Wizards, Oliver’s addition piques my interest the most. He spent time working for the Seattle SuperSonics, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggest in similar analytical roles.

Oliver is also the man behind the “Four Factors of Basketball,” which determines the key performance metrics (KPIs) that influence whether a team wins a game. Swish Appeal founder Nate Parham wrote a detailed analysis on how these factors work back in 2009 which explains it all better than I can.

Corey Gaines

Indiana Fever v Phoenix Mercury, Game 5
Corey Gaines is best known as the Phoenix Mercury’s head coach from 2008-13.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Gaines comes to the Wizards after serving on the New York Knicks’ (2017-18) and Phoenix Suns’ (2010-15) staffs. He is best known within the WNBA however, where he was the Phoenix Mercury’s head coach from 2008-13 and led them to the 2009 WNBA championship. Gaines was also an assistant on their 2007 WNBA championship squad as an assistant.

What does Tommy Sheppard have to say?

In a press release, the Wizards’ General Manager said the following:

“We are looking forward to having the experience, knowledge and diversity of skills and ideas that Mike, Dean, Corey, and Jarell will bring not only to the bench but to our organization as a whole,” said Brooks. “Mike will use his considerable experience and championship pedigree to head up our defensive efforts, Corey will bring a unique perspective as former NBA player and assistant coach with championship experience as a WNBA coach and executive, Dean will combine his unparalleled knowledge and application of analytics to our on-court work, and Jarell has formed strong relationships with our players through the great work he did last season with the Go-Go.”


What are your thoughts of the Wizards’ newest assistant coaches? Let us know in the comments below.