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ETSU coach Shay adds LSU’s Heiar to staff

From staff reports • Jun 24, 2020 at 12:50 AM

JOHNSON CITY — East Tennessee State men’s basketball coach Jason Shay on Tuesday announced the hiring of Greg Heiar as an assistant coach.

Heiar will officially assume his duties on July 1.

Heiar has over 20 years of coaching experience. He spent the past three seasons at LSU, where he was an associate head coach in 2019. He served as an assistant coach at Wichita State (2011-17), Southern Miss (2009-11), Chipola Junior College (2003-04) and Loras College (2002-03).

Heiar was Chipola’s head coach from 2004-09. He began his career as a student assistant at Mount St. Clare College in 2000 and started as a graduate assistant at Loras in 2001.

“Greg is a ball coach. He has a proven track record in player development. He loves to be in the gym and help players maximize their potential,” Shay said in a release. “He is tremendous at fostering relationships with the players as well as building those connections on the recruiting trail. More importantly, he brings a winning pedigree to East Tennessee State University.”

Heiar and Shay have a long relationship. Heiar also worked with former ETSU coach Steve Forbes on Greg Marshall’s staff at Wichita State.

ETSU’s tradition appealed to Heiar.

“Coming to ETSU presents an opportunity to be at a place where basketball is very important and a chance to coach, mentor and develop a group of student-athletes in a positive way while competing for championships,” Heiar said. “I’ve known Coach Shay for over 15 years and have always admired his basketball mind, his ability to teach the game, develop student-athletes and connect with people. Jason is a winner. Everywhere he has been, his teams have won.”

In Heiar’s three years at LSU, the Tigers won 67 games and the 2019 Southeastern Conference championship, and advanced to NCAA Sweet 16. Heiar’s strong recruiting ties helped bolster a Tigers class that ranked No. 4 in the country prior to the 2019 season; another top 10 class was signed for the 2020-21 season.

In addition to his recruiting connections, Heiar’s on-court coaching helped Tremont Waters — the No. 51 selection in the 2019 NBA draft — earn first team All-SEC honors in 2019.

Prior to LSU, Heiar spent six seasons as an assistant coach under Marshall at Wichita State. The Shockers won 179 games and five Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles during Heiar’s tenure. They made six straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, including a Final Four appearance in 2013.

During his five seasons as Chipola’s coach, Heiar’s teams won 164 games and five Panhandle Conference titles and made four appearances in the National Junior College Tournament.

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