Florida hires new basketball assistant Armon Gates

By Adam Silverstein
April 13, 2018
Florida hires new basketball assistant Armon Gates

Image Credit: ESPN Images

It did not happen immediately, but Florida Gators head basketball coach Mike White hired his newest assistant on Sunday when he announced that Armon Gates had joined the program.

Gates, previously an assistant coach at Northwestern, will be promoted to associate head coach at Florida and take his first job at a championship-winning basketball program.

“We conducted an extensive national search, and Armon kept coming back atop my list,” White said in a program release. “UF certainly gets the attention of coaches around the country, so we went through a thorough process, and he was my ultimate target. Armon, like Jordan Mincy and Darris Nichols, is a rising star in this industry. He brings infectious energy and has won everywhere he’s been. He has worked with and for some really great coaches and is a proven recruiter, and he will be a fantastic fit for our culture. His breadth of knowledge and experiences will benefit the Florida program in all facets.”

Gates spent five seasons coaching the Wildcats, which made their first NCAA Tournament appearance — and picked up their first tourney win — in program history last season. The Chicago native is known for developing guards, experience that runs somewhat contrary to Florida’s greatest need of developing big men — a need that existed even before the departure of Dusty May, who took over as head coach at Florida Atlantic.

Nevertheless, Gates is a highly-acclaimed assistant whose hire received rave reviews across the college coaching landscape. His recruiting acumen — particularly in the Chicago area — will certainly be a boon for the Gators, which have done quite well since White took over the program. Gates was previously a teammate of fellow UF assistant Jordan Mincy at Kent State, and he met White a few years ago, providing some familiarity for White in the new hire.

“I can’t express how excited I am to be a part of the Gator Nation,” Gates said in a statement. “The rich tradition of the University of Florida was too enticing to pass up. … I cannot wait to experience the Rowdy Reptiles! Go Gators!”

Prior to working at Northwestern (2013-18), Gates spent time at Loyola-Chicago (2011-13), TCU (2010-11), Kent State (2008-10) and Western Kentucky (2007-08), the latter of which he served as a graduate assistant.

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