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Montana men's basketball coaching staff takes on new look for 2023-24 campaign

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Posted at 4:07 PM, Jul 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-13 12:25:29-04

(Editor's note: Montana Athletics press release.)

MISSOULA — Montana basketball head coach Travis DeCuire has finalized his coaching staff for the upcoming 2023-24 season, which will have a new look following NCAA rules changes regarding coaching limits.

D.J. Broome and Anderson Clarke have been promoted to assistant coaching positions, while Reuben Williams joins the Griz as an assistant coach after one season at Arkansas as a graduate assistant.

The trio round out a staff that includes associate head coach Chris Cobb and assistant coach Jay Flores. Cobb enters his 10th season with Montana while Flores will be in his eighth year on staff. DeCuire has had incredible consistency with his staff throughout the years. Now, thanks to the rules change, he’s adding some great young talent to the mix.

“I feel great about this staff. As time passes, when you have good stability and a staff that doesn’t necessarily change as much as I’ve seen in college basketball over the years, you need to find ways to evolve and change with familiar faces returning,” DeCuire said.

“I think this is a phenomenal opportunity for us to give a guy like Jay Flores more responsibilities in house and add young energy with dreams and aspirations of advancing in college athletics opportunities to participate with the coaching aspects that take place on the daily basis.”

The NCAA Council voted for an increase of two coaches in men’s and women’s basketball. The additional coaches “may engage in coaching activities but may not recruit off campus.” Overall, Montana’s staff moves from seven positions last year to six this season, but the number of assistant coaches has increased by two.

Clarke has spent five seasons with the program, serving as the Director of Operations for the previous two. He spent his first three seasons at Montana as a graduate manager. Montana has posted a winning record every season with Clarke on staff.

He played collegiately for Concordia University Irvine before joining Montana. Coaching runs in the family of the native of Tasmania, Australia. His father, Marty, formerly served as the associate head coach for St. Mary’s.

“Anderson Clarke came in young and straight off the floor. He’s been incredible for us in an administrative state, but I think he had more to give,” DeCuire said. “He’s got a great eye for things on the day-to-day basis, especially during games and practice in terms of adjustments. There are things that he may say and can contribute that have been suppressed over the years.”

Broome previously served as Montana’s Director of Student-Athlete Development for two seasons. He played collegiately for Humboldt State, appearing in four NCAA Regional Tournaments while finishing his career with a 90-32 overall record.

He had a familiarity with Cobb and Flores from his playing days, when he faced off against a Chico State team that featured Flores as a player and Cobb as a coach. Prior to joining Montana, Broome accumulated experience at the Division II level as both an assistant and head coach.

“(D.J.) has been on the floor and had some experience developing guys. I kind of felt like there was some experience and talent that wasn’t necessarily being utilized as much as I would have liked,” DeCuire said. “He now has an opportunity to contribute a lot more in the gym and I think we need that right now with our player development.”

Williams will round out the coaching staff. He spent one season at Arkansas as a graduate assistant and also has collegiate experience as a student manager for Cal State Fullerton. In between, he spent three seasons at Long Beach Poly HS as an assistant coach.

“I think it’s always good to have a fresh voice in the office. Whether that’s in recruiting, player development, or any other aspect of how you operate on a daily basis,” DeCuire said. “At the same time, to have someone young and hungry to learn. I think it will be healthy for our staff and our student-athletes.”

The increase in assistants will help DeCuire and the entire program with day-to-day activities. For DeCuire, the ability for his staffers to move up in the collegiate ranks and grow as coaches is also very important. The rule change should help out in that regard as well.

“I’m excited for how they can impact our program, but also the potential growth for them. The titles, going from Director of Basketball Operations and Director of Player Development, they now have a better opportunity to be hirable,” DeCuire said. “I think as we continue to have success, guys like D.J. and Anderson now potentially have opportunities to move on as they should in this profession.”