Kelsey hires Jayson Gee as associate head coach

Kelsey hires Jayson Gee as associate head coach
(Source: Winthrop University)
(Source: Winthrop University)
(Source: Winthrop University)
(Source: Winthrop University)
(Source: Winthrop University)

Winthrop head men's basketball coach Pat Kelsey announced the addition of veteran coach Jayson Gee as the new associate head coach for the men's basketball program.

Gee brings 29 years of collegiate coaching experience as he arrives at Winthrop after a five-year stint as head coach of Longwood University. With nearly three decades of coaching experience, which includes his knowledge of the Big South after five years at Longwood, it would be difficult to find a more polished and experienced addition to the coaching staff.

"Jayson is one of the most respected individuals in college basketball," said Kelsey, who will begin his 7th year with the Eagles in the fall. "He is a mentor to many in our profession and to hundreds of young men that he has coached. His wealth of knowledge and experience as a head coach will be invaluable to me in all facets of our program. To get a coach of Jayson's caliber and experience is a coup for us here at Winthrop. He will make a big impact on our program."

In addition to his time at Longwood, Gee was also a head coach at the University of Charleston (1996-2003) in West Virginia and combined has a 202-175 record in his head coaching career. That is just the tip of the iceberg for his experience as an assistant or associate head coach at Youngstown State (1989-93), Ohio University (1993-96), St. Bonaventure (2003-06) and Cleveland State (2006-13).

The veteran hoops coach is also the author of The Battle for Brandon, a book that is a dramatic and compelling story about Jayson Gee and his wife Lynette and their son Brandon's courageous fight against child onset paranoid schizophrenia. The Gee family also worked with mass media veteran Chad Bonham to transform the book into a documentary that has received endorsements from Emmy Nominated and Golden Globe Award winning actress Jennifer Garner, WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings, former Pittsburgh Steeler Antwaan Randle El, and many more.

The 2015 recipient of the prestigious John Lotz Barnabas Award, Gee was also named one of the nation's top 10 assistant coaches by BleacherReport.com while at Cleveland State. The John Lotz Barnabas Award is presented annually to honor a basketball coach who best exhibits a commitment to Christ, integrity and encouragement of others, and lives a balanced life.

Gee took over at Longwood in 2013 to lead the program into its second season as a member of the Big South Conference. He produced the program's first All-Big South first and second team selections (five total) and sent four players on to play professionally.

In just his second season with the Lancers (2014-15), Gee led the team to one of the program's most important wins at the D1 level as it knocked off top-seeded Charleston Southern at the 2015 Big South Conference Tournament in Conway, SC. That team advanced to its first-ever Big South Tournament semifinals appearance. In Gee's first season the Lancers went on the road to defeat Texas Christian in Fort Worth, TX, 82-79.

Prior to his appointment as head coach of Longwood in 2013, Gee was an associate head coach at Cleveland State. During his time with the Vikings the team received three NIT bids and made one NCAA appearance. The 2008-09 team went 26-11 and advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament with an 84-69 win over 4th-seeded Wake Forest. The 2010-11 team earned a #2 seed in the NIT and defeated Vermont in the opening round. In seven seasons with the Vikings the team combined for a 136-100 record overall and 67-55 in the Horizon League.

One of Gee's notable coaching accomplishments at Cleveland State was the recruitment and mentoring of two-time NBA Champion Norris Cole. Cole was drafted 28th overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 2011 NBA draft.

"Coach Gee was a master motivator and helped develop me into the player and person that I am today," said Cole. "He has been an important part of my life since the moment he began recruiting me. Winthrop is lucky to have him."

Cleveland State had four 20-win seasons and four postseason appearances during Gee's time on the coaching staff. In two seasons as associate head coach at Ohio the team made postseason appearances in the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.

Gee's first NBA draft pick came during his time at Ohio as he served an important role in the development of Gary Trent, who went on to be a first-round NBA draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. Trent played nine seasons between Portland, Toronto, Dallas and Minnesota.

Press release provided by Winthrop University