DePaul officially hires Tony Stubblefield as new men’s basketball head coach

Tony+Stubblefield+is+expected+to+be+named+DePaul%27s+new+men%27s+basketball+head+coach.

Tony Stubblefield is expected to be named DePaul’s new men’s basketball head coach.

Three weeks after athletic director DeWayne Peevy began searching for a new men’s basketball head coach, DePaul has officially hired Tony Stubblefield to lead the program.

On Tuesday, DePaul announced that Stubblefield will be the program’s 15th head coach. Stubblefield spent the previous 11 years serving as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon, helping the Ducks reach the NCAA Tournament seven times and a Final Four appearance in 2017.

Oregon also made the Sweet 16 this year, and won four Pac-12 regular season championships and three conference titles over the last decade. 

“I’m very familiar with the tradition of success this program has achieved, and I know we can achieve it again together,” Stubblefield said in a statement. “The challenge ahead is the most exciting part. When you consider the world-class education you can receive at DePaul, its Vincentian mission, the city of Chicago as a backdrop and the competitive excellence of the Big East Conference — DePaul was an obvious choice. I’m eager to get to campus, roll up my sleeves and get started.”

Peevy said that DePaul vetted and interviewed more than 30 candidates in the last few weeks. 

DePaul fired Dave Leitao on March 15. The Blue Demons were 5-14 and 2-13 in the Big East last season, with the program last making the NCAA Tournament in 2004. 

“After conducting an extensive and competitive national search, I am proud to welcome Coach Tony Stubblefield to our Blue Demon family,” Peevy said in a statement. “Relationships, recruiting and vision were everything with this hire. We knew we had to find the right person for where our program is right now. Tony quickly demonstrated his eagerness to begin rebuilding this program to national prominence. That, coupled with over 28 years of Division I college coaching experience, extensive college basketball relationships, an elite history of recruiting and his alignment with our vision for the future, made him quickly rise to the top of our candidate list.”

DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban also welcomed Stubblefield to Chicago via a statement on Tuesday.

We’re very excited to welcome Coach Tony Stubblefield to the DePaul family,” Esteban said. “With more than 20 years of coaching experience at the college level, I know Coach Stubblefield will be an excellent mentor for our student-athletes. In my conversations with him, Tony expressed his admiration for the DePaul community, specifically our Catholic, Vincentian mission. I look forward to supporting him for many successful seasons as a Blue Demon.”

Stubblefield played an integral part in building five recruiting classes at Oregon that were ranked among the top 12 nationally  2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. Some of those classes included players like Bol Bol, Louis King and Troy Brown Jr. 

In 2014, however, three Oregon players — Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin — were part of a rape investigation that detalied an extensive and graphic police report. Each player was initially suspended before being dismissed. The case, however, was later closed and no charges were filed. 

Stubblefield later admitted that he recruited these players and exchanged text messages with them in 2017.

The 51-year-old coach previously spent four years (2006-10) as the recruiting coordinator at the University of Cincinnati. He was an assistant coach at New Mexico State for six years (2000-06), serving as the team’s interim coach when head coach Lou Henson missed the 2004-05 season due to health issues. 

But this will be Stubblefield’s first job as the head coach of a college program, and his immediate task will be rebuilding a roster that has seen six players enter the transfer portal since the season ended. DePaul still has three recruits coming in next season: Ahamad Bynum, Kok Yat and Brett Hardt Jr. 

As a prominent recruiter throughout his career, Stubblefield will be in charge of trying to keep some of Chicago’s best high school players at home. The DePaulia reported last week that Stubblefield is expected to keep assistant coach Tim Anderson, who has helped recruit players like Bynum and Romeo Weems in the past. 

DePaul will host a press conference to introduce Stubblefield at Wintrust Arena on Wednesday.