CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The silly season of college basketball’s offseason is now involving Brad Underwood’s coaching staff at Illinois.
Illini Now/Sports Illustrated was able to confirm Wednesday night via a source close to the situation what multiple outlets had already speculated and reported throughout this week about Orlando Antigua leaving his position as an assistant coach at Illinois in order to join John Calipari’s coaching staff at Kentucky for a second time in his career.
On Thursday, CBS Sports analyst Matt Norlander tweeted it is more than a possibilty that Antigua will not be alone in his movement from Illinois to Kentucky. Norlander cites unnamed sources saying that Illinois assistant coach Ronald “Chin” Coleman is in the mix to be an assistant coach on Calipari’s staff for the upcoming 2021-22 season.
However, sources close to the situation have told Illini Now/SI on Thursday that Coleman is still evaluating several career options that include staying at Illinois, taking a position at Kentucky and considering another possible offer from an elite Power 5 Conference program.
Multiple outlets are reporting Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus has accepted a coaching position at Arizona State under head coach Bobby Hurley and Wildcats assistant coach Tony Barbee is likely to be offered the head coaching job at Central Michigan.
Coleman has been with Underwood throughout all of his four seasons as an assistant coach after joining the Illini staff in April 2017. Coleman’s recruiting impact for the Illini program was immediately felt after securing the commit and signing of elite Chicago guard Ayo Dosunmu.
Coleman was instrumental in working with the Illinois perimeter players after serving two years as an assistant at Illinois-Chicago under then-coach Steve McClain. Prior to his time at UIC, Coleman spent three years as an assistant at Bradley under then-coach Geno Ford, earning the title of assistant head coach in his final season of 2015.
Coleman entered the college ranks as an assistant for Tim Miles at Colorado State, helping the Rams to 20 wins and an NCAA Tournament appearance during the 2012 season. He then followed Miles to Nebraska, serving as director of player development before returning to his home state for the assistant coaching position at Bradley.
Coleman is thought of in the profession as an essential component of Illinois' recruiting efforts in prospect-heavy market of Chicago and inside the state of Illinois after his time coaching one of the top AAU programs in the country, the Mac Irvin Fire, from 2005-11. He also coached at the prep level in Chicago, leading Benjamin Mays Academy before becoming associate head coach at Whitney Young High School.
“He has tremendous knowledge of the state of Illinois and city of Chicago, growing up and playing there, and then cutting his coaching teeth at the high school and grassroots level with the Mac Irvin Fire,” Underwood said after hiring Coleman in 2017. “He is a student of the game, a great teacher, and an outstanding asset for the University of Illinois basketball program and our players."
Coleman’s recruiting reputation at Illinois include secure commitments from 2020 Illinois Mr. Basketball selection Adam Miller, three-star forward Coleman Hawkins from California and 2021 signee Brandin Podziemski, who was named the 2021 Wisconsin Mr. Basketball selection.