SALT LAKE CITY — Change has come to the longest-tenured coaching staff in the Pac-12.
DeMarlo Slocum has left Utah after eight seasons to become an assistant coach at UNLV. The departure is the first for the Utes since Larry Krystkowiak became the head coach in 2011. Slocum was part of a staff that includes Tommy Connor and Andy Hill.
“It has been great to work with DeMarlo these past eight years. He is a great human and a tireless worker,” Krystkowiak said, “While we here in our basketball program will miss him, I am also excited for his opportunity to go home and help kick-start the program at UNLV, so we wish him nothing but the very best.”
Krystkowiak’s staff was the only one that had stayed intact since Utah joined the Pac-12. Eight teams have hired head coaches during that time and the other three have replaced assistants.
“I feel really lucky and blessed to have them all,” Krystkowiak said of his staff before the Pac-12 Tournament.
The continuity, Krystkowiak noted, gave the Utes an edge. They posted a 147-106 record together while rebuilding the program after the firing of Jim Boylen.
“It’s no different than a basketball team. You have a group of guys that have been together and kind of know the working parts and our strengths and weaknesses,” Krystkowiak said last month. “Roles need to be established in staffs as well as they do on the team. So there’s a lot of familiarity with what it is we’re doing and I think it’s an advantage.”
At the same time, Krystkowiak acknowledged change would eventually come. There’s a lot of movement in the coaching profession.
“All these guys on this staff are going to be great head coaches at some point — whenever that time might come,” Krystkowiak said. “There’s been opportunities for them, but I also think they’re smart guys. They want to take a good job.”
UNLV officially announced the hiring of Slocum, who is from Las Vegas, Friday morning. He joins Tim Buckley and Kevin Kruger on the staff of new head coach T.J. Otzelberger.
"I am extremely pleased with the coaches that we recruited to join our program," Otzelberger said in the announcement. "Each one has top-notch experience at schools that have made multiple NCAA Tournament appearances and they are all experts in player development.”