South Dakota St hires Otzelberger as men's basketball coach
BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) South Dakota State on Thursday introduced T.J. Otzelberger, a top assistant at Iowa State, as its new men's basketball coach.
Otzelberger replaces longtime coach Scott Nagy, who took the job at Wright State after leading the Jackrabbits to the NCAA Tournament three of the past five years.
Athletic director Justin Sell said Otzelberger hit every checkbox for qualities the Jackrabbits were seeking, and his style and values are a great fit for the program.
''We're getting a guy who is known as a great recruiter,'' Sell said. ''He can handle X's and O's. He can handle academics. He can handle compliance. He can do all the things from the leadership position.''
Otzelberger, who was introduced during a news conference Thursday at Frost Arena, said becoming a head coach has always been his dream.
He wants to continue developing a program so it annually competes to win the Summit League reaches the NCAA tourney. He also wants his team to earn a cumulative grade-point average exceeding 3.0 and sees each of his athletes graduate.
Otzelberger said he inherited a great group of players from Nagy.
''As we move forward and add to this great group, we're going to recruit young men with great character who desire to succeed on the court and academically,'' he said. ''We're going to recruit student-athletes who are going to make us proud after earning their degree, and as they move on, be successful members of the community.''
The 38-year-old Otzelberger spent three seasons on coach Fred Hoiberg's staff prior to leaving Iowa State to take the position of associate head coach at Washington, where he spent two seasons. The Milwaukee native returned to the Cyclones in April 2015.
Nagy led the Jackrabbits this season to a 26-8 record and a Summit League Tournament championship. South Dakota State lost to Maryland 79-74 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
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