Lorenzo Romar has added assistant coach T.J. Otzelberger to his staff, the University of Washington announced.
Otzelberger is formerly of the Iowa State Cyclones, and was under head coach Fred Hoiberg since 2006. Some consider him to be a rising star among the coaching ranks, and after six years under Hoiberg, he moves on to Romar's staff.
"As a coach, there are few chances you get to have the opportunity to work for someone whom you look up to as a coach, a mentor, and a man of great character," Otzelberger said. "I feel like coach Romar embodies all of those qualities, and I'm excited to be a part of the Husky program and compete on the national level each year."
While at Iowa State, Otzelberger was under another "rising star" in the coaching ranks in Hoiberg. Now he will work under a more veteran coach in Romar.
His main duties were to compile scouting reports on opponents and to develop and implement gameplans accordingly.
Another item that Otzelberger has been a factor in is recruiting. He played a large part in the commitment of several big-time talents to the Cyclones including Royce White and Craig Brackins, both of whom ended up first-round NBA draft choice, among others.
You know the loss of Aaron Gordon stings Romar, as he was close to Gordon personally in addition to the recruiting side of things. Lamont Smith was a big recruiter, and he left to the University of New Mexico this offseason. This could be a way that Romar is attempting to compensate for the loss of Smith. There was no coach hired to take his place.
Personally, I feel like Otzelberger will have a similar role to Smith at New Mexico. He will be a recruiting ace, and an associate head coach, as opposed to just an assistant. Part of the reason that Smith left was because of the better opportunity and more control at New Mexico, and I feel like Otzelberger will have similar freedoms here at the University of Washington. That is purely guesswork, however.
ISU had their most successful run in recent memory the past two seasons under the watch of Hoiberg and Otzelberger. Romar will look to have similar success with Otzelberger under his wing, and return to the NCAA Tournament after missing out the past two seasons.