Shawn Finney Names Men's Basketball Coaching Staff



Aug. 23, 2000

NEW ORLEANS - Tulane University men's basketball head coach Shawn Finney announced Wednesday that Wade O'Connor, Alvin Williamson and Jeff Reynolds have joined his staff as assistant coaches.

O'Connor comes to New Orleans after four years as an assistant at the University of Dayton. In his four years, the Flyers amassed a 67-52 (.563) cumulative record, posted two 20-win seasons and made two postseason appearances. Last year, Dayton went 22-9, advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won its second Atlantic 10 West Division Championship in three years. Dayton's 22-9 record marked the best one-season improvement (11 wins) in school history. The 1998 UD squad went 21-12 and advanced to the NIT.

O'Connor, 29, also served as the administrative assistant at Marshall University from 1994-96. He was an integral part of the two-year turnaround engineered by coach Billy Donovan. He is a 1994 graduate of Bridgewater State College with a B.S. in Physical Education, where he played during the 1991-92 campaign. He also played two seasons at Massoit Community College.

Wade O'Connor

A native of Somerset, Mass., O'Connor played on two Massachusetts Division I Boy's Basketball State Championship teams at B.M.C. Durfee High School (1989, 1990). His coaching career began as an assistant coach at East Bridgewater High School in 1992-93.

"Wade brings an outstanding Division I background to the staff, having worked with Billy Donovan and Oliver Purnell, "said Finney. "He also brings a great deal of energy to our recruiting efforts."

Williamson, 26, comes to Tulane after two seasons as an assistant at Illinois State. In two years under coach Kevin Stallings, Williamson was primarily responsible for working with the Redbird guards. His impact was immediate, as Victor Williams and Tarise Bryson were named Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, respectively.

Alvin Williamson

Prior to his tenure at ISU, Williamson served as an assistant at Washington State for two years. In addition to coordinating WSU's summer basketball camps and monitoring the Cougars' academic progress, he was instrumental in the development of starting point guard Blake Pengelly, who as a freshman in 1998 ranked seventh in the Pacific-10 Conference with 120 assists.

Originally from Beggs, Okla., Williamson starred for the University of Tulsa from 1991-95. In addition to leading the Golden Hurricane to back-to-back trips to the NCAA "Sweet 16", he averaged 7.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 118 career games. He started the final 63 games of his career and finished in the top 10 in three career statistical categories: assists (No. 7/277), games played (No. 8/118) and steals (No. 10/111). He received his bachelor's degree in business management from Tulsa in 1995.

"As a former player of mine at Tulsa, Alvin brings the knowledge of our system as a player to our coaching staff," explained Finney. "That should be a tremendous benefit for us in addition to his experience at Illinois State and Washington State."

Reynolds, 42, joins the Tulane staff after three highly-successful seasons as the head coach at Wingate University. He compiled a three-year record of 61-27 (.693) and led the program to the first two NCAA Division II Tournament berths in school history. His 2000 squad finished as the No. 7 team in the nation and was the NCAA Division II leader in team defense. All told, Reynolds' teams won two South Atlantic Conference regular season championships (1999, 2000), one SAC Tournament title (2000) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament twice. He was named SAC Coach of the Year in 1999.

Jeff Reynolds

No stranger to the Division I ranks, Reynolds served as an assistant coach at four different institutions and has made three NCAA Tournament appearances. From 1995-97, he was an assistant at North Carolina-Greensboro where he helped the team to the 1996 Big South Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Reynolds spent four years at North Carolina-Wilmington (1990-94) and Winthrop (1986-90). He helped guide Winthrop to the 1988 Big South Conference championship. He started his coaching career at James Madison University during the 1981-82 campaign, where the Dukes captured the ECAC title.

Reynolds also spent seven years as an assistant at Randolph-Macon College (1982-85) where he helped the program to three consecutive NCAA Division II Tournament appearances (1983-85) and Mason-Dixon regular season and postseason tournament championships in 1984 and 1985. He was also head coach at North Carolina Wesleyan College in 1985-86, where he led the team to a 21-7 record and Dixie Conference regular season championship. For his career, Reynolds is 82-34 (.707) in four seasons as a head coach.

"Jeff brings great balance to our coaching staff," said Finney. "With his extensive head coaching experience, Jeff will provide valuable knowledge both on and off the floor."

Finney and the Green Wave open the 2000-01 campaign on Nov. 17 against Nicholls State.