Sept. 11, 2007
Rick Brunson, who played his college basketball at Temple before embarking on a professional basketball career, has been named the director of men's basketball operations at Virginia. UVa men's head basketball coach Dave Leitao announced Brunson's appointment on Tuesday (Sept.11).
"I'm extremely pleased that Rick Brunson is joining our staff," Leitao said. "During his NBA career he demonstrated a work ethic and a willingness to persevere that I think will be good for our program. Rick's goal is to be a coach at the collegiate level and this is the first step for him in that process. I like the composition of our staff and believe he will complement a group that is dedicated to the well being of the individuals on our team as players, students and people."
Brunson played for eight teams in the National Basketball Association from 1998 until 2006. He played with the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics and Toronto Raptors in the NBA. Brunson served as his team's representative to the National Basketball Players Association while with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers.
He worked with the Denver Nuggets as an assistant coach involved in player development from January through April of 2007.
"I'm very excited about joining Coach Leitao and his staff at the University of Virginia," Brunson said. "My goal is to coach on the collegiate level and I look forward to contributing to the program. This is a very exciting time for me and my family, and I'm thankful for the opportunity."
Brunson lettered four times as a guard at Temple (1992-95) and was a three-year starter. Temple compiled an overall record of 79-45 during his career and played in the NCAA Tournament four times. He had career totals of 1,493 points, 481 rebounds, 470 assists and 253 steals. Brunson led Temple in assists his last three seasons, in steals his last two seasons and in scoring as a senior when he averaged 16.7 points a game. He was a first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection as a senior and earned second-team All-Atlantic 10 honors as a junior.
Prior to playing in the NBA, Brunson played professionally with the Quad City Thunder and the Connecticut Pride of the Continental Basketball Association from November of 1996 through November of 1998. He also played professional basketball in Australia with the Adelaide 36ers from February through October of 1996.
Brunson earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Temple.
He replaces Drew Diener as Virginia's director of men's basketball operations. Diener was named an assistant men's basketball coach at UVa last week.