Richard Pitino's coaching staff is reportedly complete, though not yet officially announced. The final piece of the puzzle appears to be Dan McHale, currently an assistant on Seton Hall's staff.
Based on his Seton Hall profile, McHale specialized on defense, opponent scouting, gameplanning and of course recruiting.
In a short period of time, McHale has established himself as an invaluable asset to Willard's staff and the Seton Hall men's basketball program. One of the young, up and coming basketball coaching minds in the business, he is in charge of the Pirates' defensive game planning and heads opponent scouting and game preparation. McHale spends a significant amount of time analyzing Seton Hall opponents' game film in order to develop appropriate responses to various schemes.
As it is with many coaches, recruiting is a key component of McHale's job description at Seton Hall. The passionate young coach is directly responsible for the recruitment and signing of several student-athletes currently on the Pirates' roster.
I'm not 100% convinced that the roles listed above are going to be his primary roles here for the Gophers but at the very least we know that he has experience handling those responsibilities at this level. But more than just what will he be doing, I suppose you want to know who this guy is and where did he come from?
Well, he is a Kentucky grad and has spent time on the elder Pitino's staff. Four years as student manager at Kentucky under Tubby Smith. Then a couple years under Pitino at Louisville as staff assistant working on opponent scouting, film breakdown and game prep. Next was a short stint at Manhattan where he worked as an administrative assistant again working on opponent scouting and video work. That led him back to Louisville as the team's Dir. of Video Operations. He was then on Kevin Willard's staff at Iona before following Willard to Seton Hall. McHale is a native of New Jersey.
According to an Amelia tweet, McHale will be the team's lead assistant. He clearly has extensive experience with opponent scouting and game prep, an area that to the naked eye was sorely lacking on the previous staff (along with in bounds plays). In a lengthy interview with the Seton Hall rivals site he feels confident in his recruiting relationships built in the NY/NJ area along with Kentucky due to his time spent in those areas; he also points out his scouting strength.
From a recruitment standpoint, McHale said he and Holloway have a strength in the New York and New Jersey area, however it doesn't stop there.
"Where I've extended it is my years in Kentucky. I have Kentucky connections that I feel will pay off very quickly," he said, adding that he also has developed strong relationships with various prep schools, particularly in New England.
McHale said that coming from Iona, the staff had the benefit of working with many of the major local programs, having brought in players from schools like St. Patrick's and St. Benedict's. "You have to work harder to get your foot in the door at the mid-major level," he explained.
McHale notes that aside from recruiting, one of his major roles will be scouting. "The majority of the scouting is probably my strength because of my extensive background working for coach Pitino as his video coordinator. "That was an intense job. My job was to make sure they were ready. I was kind of like an advanced scout.
Appears to be a solid hire on paper. Another young coach, hard-working, recruiting-centric and someone who is bringing unique skills to the team.
UPDATE: I contacted the good guys at South Orange Juice (SBN's Seton Hall blog) to get their thoughts on Coach McHale. Jason was kind enough to respond quickly. Apparently Jason was a student broadcaster for the Pirate's games and had good things to say about McHale.
"Personally, when I was a student broadcaster at SHU, he was the guy we talked to before every game for a quick pregame interview, and he always graciously accepted our requests. A definite positive addition to Minnesota's staff- Hall fans are sorry to see him leave."
McHale was also instrumental in recruiting two of Seton Hall's key players. Sophomores Aaron Crosby and Brandon Mobley were the team's 2nd and 4th leading scorers respectively and McHale was their primary recruiter.
So the full staff will look this.
Head Coach - Richard Pitino
Lead Assistant - Dan McHale
Assistant - Ben Johnson
Assistant - Kimani Young
Dir. of Basketball Operations - Steve Goodson
The two things that stand out about this staff is that they are young and they are all focused on recruiting. Player development and their ability to teach are yet to be determined.