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UND sports

MEN'S BASKETBALL: UND assistant coach headed to Illinois State

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On Thursday, Dean Oliver was announced as assistant coach at Illinois State, a Division I school in the Missouri Valley Conference.

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The RedBirds were 18-16 a year ago. ISU lost in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, but it advanced to the CBI postseason tournament, winning two games including a home victory over Texas A&M.

Former UND assistant Gameli Ahelegbe left UND for the University of South Dakota last month. He joined former Mayville State head coach and Nebraska assistant coach Craig Smith in Vermillion.

“Dean represents everything I want our program to stand for and is an excellent coach,” ISU head coach Dan Muller said. “Toughness, intelligence, work ethic, competitor and winner are words I would use to describe Dean. He will be a great asset for all of our players, but specifically our guards.”

A Mason City, Iowa, native who was born in Quincy, Ill., Oliver spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at UND. Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Oliver played professional basketball, including a two-year stint in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors. He also was a standout point guard at the University of Iowa from 1997-2001.

“This is a huge opportunity for me and my family,” Oliver said. “I’m happy to get back to my Illinois roots. Illinois State has an outstanding young staff, and I’m excited to learn and grow with them. The direction of the program is what really impressed me in the interview process. Coach Muller has done a fantastic job in his first two seasons, and things are only going to get better.”

At UND, Oliver was lauded for his work with senior guards Aaron Anderson and Jamal Webb.

“I can’t wait to start working with this young team and help them develop both on and off the court,” Oliver said. “I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with them, and I’m eager to help set the table for them to have success.”

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