UPDATED: July 7, 2013, at 2:00 p.m.
Former men's basketball co-captain Christian Webster '13 is not going far post-graduation. According to a Harvard Athletics press release, basketball coach Tommy Amaker has named Webster an assistant coach for the 2013-2014 season following a reshuffling of the coaching staff after the departure of former assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel. Brian DeStefano, a 2012-2013 assistant coach, will become the 2013-2014 associate head coach.
"When the coaching positions became available, I pushed [Webster] and just wanted to see where the sparks would be about the idea of this because I’ve always thought of him as an ideal candidate for coaching," Amaker said. "I think Christian has a great deal of patience, I think he has a keen eye for the game, an eye for talent, [and] he certainly knows our program inside and out."
Filling out the bench is Adam Cohen, a former coach of the Rice Owls whom Amaker hired away from the Conference-USA program earlier this offseason. Cohen, who worked on recruiting for Rice, will be part of the group’s collective effort to replace Hufnagel’s contributions to the Crimson’s recruiting efforts.
"He’s incredibly well thought of in the coaching profession and the community, and we’ve loved him and known him for some time," Amaker said. "He’s worked with some great, great coaches."
Each member of Amaker’s new team will bring a new set of experiences to the bench. Webster is the only former college player of the three, but both DeStefano (Duke University) and Cohen (University of Arizona) spent time as student managers in college working under 750-win coaches in Mike Krzyzewski and Lute Olson, respectively. DeStefano and Cohen worked with a combined 15 NBA players at their respective schools, while Webster, the winningest student-athlete in program history, shared the court with only one—Jeremy Lin ’10.
While Cohen is entering his first season as a member of the Harvard basketball program, it will be Webster’s fifth and DeStefano’s seventh season involved with the team. During that time, the team has posted four straight 20-win seasons and earned two NCAA tournament berths, including Harvard’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win in 2013 over third-seeded New Mexico in the tournament’s second round. The group will be looking to help Amaker capture a fourth straight Ivy League title when the season tips off in the fall.
"All [members of the coaching staff] are outstanding candidates for the fit of our program and our school, and we think we have two ideal candidates for that for where we are,” Amaker said.
—Staff writer David Freed can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CrimsonDPFreed.
—Check thecrimson.com for updates.