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Minnesota Gopher Basketball: Ben Johnson fills out coaching staff with Marcus Jenkins

Marcus Jenkins leaves Richmond to join Ben Johnson’s staff

Brad Rempel

The final staff member has been hired by Ben Johnson. He rounds out his coaching staff with a guy who has been coaching for Richmond in the A-10 since 2015.

Marcus Jenkins

Let’s take a bullet point look at the career of Jenkins.

  • Played his college basketball at the Air Force Academy. Joe Scott was his initial head coach and his senior season he played under Chris Mooney. This 2004 Falcons squad (senior season) made the NCAA Tournament. These names are important.
  • 3 years of Air Force service.
  • 2007-11 Richmond - Ast Coach and Dir of Basketball Operations for Mooney
  • 2012-2015 Princeton - Ast Coach for Mitch Henderson
  • 2015-2021 Richmond - Returned to Richmond and soon earned the title of Associate Head Cocah
  • 2021 Minnesota - Ast Coach

What is interesting is that Jenkins really is a product of the Princeton Offense coaching tree. Joe Scott is a Princeton grad who employed the Princeton Offense at Air Force. Mooney was an assistant under Scott who took over the program, continuing the Princeton Offense. And what kind of offense does Richmond run? You guessed it, the Princeton Offense.

Why is this important? It may not be, at all. But it certainly intrigues me that Jenkins may bring some elements of this system to the yet to be determined Gopher offense. Understanding how to coach ball-movement and timely backcuts for easy baskets is certainly appealing.

What else does Jenkins potentially bring to the Gophers? Recruiting, obviously. Known as an excellent recruiter, Jenkins fits the same mold as the rest of the Johnson staff. What is also really nice is that Jenkins brings experience and relationships in recruiting along the East Coast. Considering the rest of the staff is primarily associated with the Midwest, getting someone who can broaden the recruiting footprint is desirable.

Lastly, it sounds like Mrs. Jenkins is originally from Minnesota. Moving back to be near family helps to establish some roots for Jenkins here at Minnesota, not a quick stop along the coaching journey.

This appears to be a really nice hire for Ben Johnson. Jenkins has plenty of accolades as a talented, young coach and he now gets to make his mark on a Big Ten program.