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USF Men’s Basketball Coaching Staff Update

A new position created and two new assistant coaches for USF men’s basketball.

NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The USF men’s basketball coaching staff is getting shaken up as the crazy offseason continues. USF men’s basketball and head coach Brian Gregory hired former James Madison head coach Louis Rowe to be the assistant head coach replacing Tom Herrion. The news comes two weeks after an independent review of the USF men’s basketball program resulted in assistant head coach Tom Herrion being relieved of his duties for racially insensitve comments.

Additionally, head coach Brian Gregory will create a new position, Director of Recruiting and Scouting which will be led by assistant coach Scott Wagers. For the vacant role left by Wagers, Jason Slay, formerly the associate head coach at Youngstown State, will join the USF men’s basketball program. Gregory also upgraded Billy Hubly’s position as Video Coordinator to also include heading the social media and the NIL oversight for team. Lastly, David Land will be joining the support staff for the Bulls as the assistant strength and conditioning coach, a role he previously held at Iowa State.

Louis Rowe comes to Tampa by way of James Madison University, where he spent four seasons as the head coach of the Dukes in the Colonial Athletic Association. Rowe is originally from St. Petersburg, FL and played for JMU from 1993 to 1995 after a brief stint in Gainesville at the University of Florida the two years prior. At JMU, he was a standout student athlete and despite the short stay in Harrisonburg, he currently ranks fifth in all-time scoring average list, and eighth on all-time blocks for the Dukes.

After graduating from James Madison, Rowe pursued professional basketball overseas in Europe from 1995 to 2004 before retiring and turning his sights to coaching. He spent some time coaching at Osceola high school in Ocala and Dixie Hollins high school in St. Petersburg, FL before coming in as a grad assistant at his alma mater in 2007.

After becoming a full-time assistant coach in 2010 for James Madison, he oversaw the development of Denzel Bowles, a mid-major all-American who set the JMU single season record for rebounds with 290 in 2011.

Rowe was then whisked up as an assistant at Florida International in 2012, where he again worked closely with the development of a standout student athlete. Rowe helped guide Adrian Diaz to a then school record 99 blocks and an all-conference defensive team appearance in 2014. His third assistant role was spent at Bowling Green for one season in 2015, where he focused on perimeter play for the Falcons.

In 2016, Rowe was announced as the 10th head basketball coach in James Madison’s history, as a former standout student athlete returning to lead his alma mater. However, his time spent as the head coach did not live up to the expectations, finishing no better than tied-7th in the CAA and an overall record of 43-85 in four seasons at the helm. It was announced on March 9th, 2020 that Rowe would part ways at the end of the season with his Alma Mater.

USF men’s basketball also announced that associate head coach Scott Wagers will be transitioning into a new role within the progrum as the Director of Recruiting and Scouting. In his new role, Wagers will be in charge of evaluating game footage of high school and transfer portal prospects, as well as opponent scouting and game planning. With Wagers entering his fifth season with USF men’s basketball, this will give head coach Brian Gregory an experienced staff member for an ever changing landscape of college basketball.

Jason Slay is making his way to USF by way of Youngstown State, where he had been an associate head coach under Jerrod Calhoun. A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Slay has worked his way up the basketball ranks working at various schools in the Division II, Prep Academy, and Division I progrums. Slay spent his playing days at West Virginia State in Division II where he was a four-time captain leading his yellow jackets to three sweet sixteen appearances.

His first coaching job was shortly after his playing career, where he was an assistant coach with Hargrave Military Academy for a short stint before joining Georgia Southern as the director of basketball operations in 2012. Slay then bounced to Tennessee State in 2013, then to Eastern Tennessee State University in 2014.

After ETSU, Slay spent two seasons at Virginia Military Institute where he mentored QJ Peterson who became a first-team all-Southern Conference selection by the media and a second-team selection by the coaches. In 2017, Jason Slay was officially hired by Youngstown State to become the assistant head coach, and has been instrumental in leading the Penguins to their second ever postseason berth in school history when an 18-15 (10-8 in the Horizon League) resulted a spot at the CIT, but was canceled due to Covid-19 in 2020.

David Land will be heading to the Bay Area via Ames, serving previously as the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa State. Land is well traveled, as he has has had previous stops at Murray State, Wofford, Virginia Tech, UNC Willmington, East Tennessee State, Milligan College, and NC State. Under his belt and guidance, he has seen two undefeated conference seasons with Murray State in 2014, and Wofford in 2018.

Rowe, Slay, and Land will be joining a USF program that is in a desperate win-now mode under fifth-year head coach Brian Gregory. After a flurry of transfers both in and out this offseason, the Bulls are looking to return back to the post-season after a promising CBI championship in 2019. When the dust settles on this transfer heavy offseason, the only two players from that championship team will be walk-on Mark Calleja and Jamir Chaplin, both averaged less than 5 minutes a game in 2019.