Florida’s Golden rounds out coaching staff by hiring Hartman

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — New Florida coach Todd Golden rounded out his staff Friday by hiring UNLV assistant Carlin Hartman.

Hartman joins Mississippi State’s Korey McCray and Richmond’s Kevin Hovde on Florida’s bench, helping form a staff Golden called “a grand slam.”

“The two most important parts of a program to ensure its success are making sure you have a great staff and making sure you have the right student-athletes on board,” Golden told The Associated Press. “It’s not super complicated. Knock on wood, I feel like I kind of hit a grand slam with this staff. It came together really, really well. I have a great blend of guys I know and trust as well as guys that are super talented and regionally make sense.

“I couldn’t feel any better about the staff.”

Golden lost one player on his roster Friday when forward Anthony Duruji announced plans to hire an agent and enter the NBA draft. Duruji averaged 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds as a senior this season. He could have returned for one more year because of NCAA rules related to anyone who played amid COVID-19 shutdowns.

Golden and his staff are hoping to persuade big man Colin Castleton, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, to stick around for another season.

“We’re going to have to sort it out, and it’s going to take a little bit, and that’s fine,” Golden said.

Golden at least has his staff in place to help navigate the process, and two of them are staying with him at a house they rented just down the street from the basketball facility.

Golden hired Jonathan Safir as the team’s director of basketball strategy and analytics, bringing Safir with him from San Francisco. In 2020, Safir co-authored a study with Ken Pomeroy that serves as a guide to fouling when leading or tied. Golden called Safir a “rising star” in college basketball.

Golden, Safir and Hovde are sharing a place until Golden’s family makes the move from California to Gainesville.

Golden still plans to hire a director of player development and a strength coach. But the core of his staff is complete.

Hartman brings 22 years of college experience, including five seasons at Oklahoma under Lon Kruger before coaching at UNLV this past season. Hartman and Golden spent two seasons together at Columbia (2012-14). Hartman also spent time at Rice, James Madison, Centenary, Richmond, Louisiana and McNeese State.

McCray is a Southeastern Conference coaching veteran, having spent a combined 12 years at Mississippi State and LSU. He spent the last seven seasons alongside Ben Howland at Mississippi State. He also spent two seasons with Howland at UCLA. His other stops include Florida State, Mercer and Chipola Junior College.

Hovde most recently helped Richmond to the second round of the NCAA Tournament following an Atlantic 10 Tournament championship. Hovde has worked seven seasons alongside Golden, including two as associate head coach at San Francisco.

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