Nov. 7, 2008
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of Arizona interim men's basketball coach Russ Pennell Friday announced two changes to his coaching staff.
Matt Brase has been promoted to assistant coach, while Dewey Pennell has been named director of basketball operations.
Brase joins the on-the-floor coaching staff after serving the last two seasons as UA's administrative assistant and video coordinator. While video coordinator, he headed all of Arizona's video scouting efforts. A two-year Arizona letterman (2003-05), Brase helped the Cats win 50 games playing for his grandfather, Lute Olson. He graduated in May of 2005 with a degree in business management.
"I'm excited to be a full-time assistant coach," said Brase. "Having the opportunity to do that at Arizona just makes it more meaningful."
Pennell assumes the role of director of basketball operations and will oversee the program's daily operations. He will have no on-court coaching responsibilities. The elder Pennell, who is Russ' father, recently retired after serving 47 years as a high school coach in Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas. He has a bachelor's degree in education from Missouri State University (1960), a master's from the University of Missouri (1970) and a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas (1991).
"I'm thrilled to be a part of a program that I've admired from afar," said Pennell. "I'm doubly thrilled to working with my son and his staff."
Just 10 days away from his NCAA Division I coaching debut, Russ Pennell, said, "This is a wonderful opportunity for Matt," said Pennell. "He's a hard worker, and I feel he's ready to take the next step in his coaching career. For me personally, it's nice to share this experience with my father."