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Taking it on the ‘Chin’

Assistant Coleman leaves for Illinois job

By Mike Pankow

April 17, 2017

Mike Pankow/Whoosh! file photo

UIC assistant coach Ron Coleman leaves the program after two seasons under Steve McClain.

The hits keep on coming for UIC basketball, and not in a good way.

Two weeks after three players declared their intent to transfer from the program, the Flames now have lost an assistant coach. Ron “Chin” Coleman, who served under head coach Steve McClain the last two seasons, has taken a similar position at Illinois.

Coleman is the final assistant named to new Illini coach Brad Underwood’s staff.

Coleman takes his recruiting connections as the former head coach of the Mac Irvin Fire with him to the Illini. He was crucial in helping UIC land superstar small forward Dikembe Dixson prior to the 2015-16 season. Coleman also worked on the staffs at Nebraska, Colorado State and Bradley in addition to a stint as associate head coach at Whitney Young High School in Chicago.

Brendan Mullins is the lone assistant coach remaining from McClain’s first season at UIC as Deon Thomas left after last season, opening the door for Seth Cooper to take his spot. Jeremy Buttell, who was an assistant coach toward the end of the Howard Moore era, currently is the team’s director of basketball operations.

Now the Flames are searching for a new assistant coach along with bodies to replace departed players K.J. Santos, Michael Kolawole and Hassan Thomas. The signing period began this week, so expect some news soon on possible replacements.

Verbal Commits reported the Flames have offered Bethune-Cookman transfer Brandon Suggs, a native of Winnebago, Ill.

A 6-foot-8, 215-pound forward, Suggs played one season with the Wildcats, averaging 3.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 30 games with 12 starts. He shot 60.5 percent from the field and 56.7 percent from the free-throw line.

In other recent news:
Shocking exodus: Santos, Kolawole, Thomas leaving (3/30/17)
CBI: Coastal Carolina 89, UIC 78: Bittersweet ending (3/23/17)
CBI: UIC 80, George Washington 71: A big helping hand (3/21/17)
CBI: UIC 71, Stony Brook 69: Fire and fury (3/17/17)
CBI PREVIEW: Forward march (3/16/17)
Surprise party: UIC gets CBI bid (3/14/17)
HORIZON TOURNEY: Milwaukee 74, UIC 68: Underdog ends Flames’ run (3/7/17)
HORIZON TOURNEY: UIC 79, Green Bay 70: It’s madness (3/6/17)
HORIZON AWARDS: Flames collect hardware (3/2/17)
Ferguson caps Flames’ 4-pack (3/1/17)