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It’s Official: Billy Donovan Fills Out His Coaching Staff

Billy Donovan has filled out his coaching staff, naming five assistants and four player development coaches to his staff with the Bulls.

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today we finally have confirmation of Billy Donovan’s full staff as the new Bulls head coach. Almost all are new faces to the Bulls NBA level staff. Joe Cowley was the one who announced the complete list of names this morning.

The Bulls coaching staff will consist of: Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, John Bryant, Damian Cotter, and Billy Schmidt. Player development coordinators are: Henry Domercant, Ronnie Burrell, Ty Abbott, and Max Rothschild.

Chris Fleming was retained as an assistant coach from the previous staff.

John Bryant (above) played ball at Saint Joseph University and coached for the Nigerian National Team in the 2016 Olympics.
Photo: Saint Joseph University

For background on Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, and John Bryant, you can check out our previous On Tap Sports Net articles.

John Longstaff has extensive experience with the USA Basketball program as an assistant coach.
Photo: USA Basketball

Damian Cotter was the Bulls G League coach last year. Prior to that, he had a very extensive career coaching internationally in Australia, filling head coaching and assistant coaching roles. 

He started at Knox Basketball Incorporated as a coaching director and head coach from 1999 to 2007. Also, from 2006-2009 he was the assistant coach of the Australian Development Team. He then became the head coach of the Australian Emus (U-19). Over this span, he won World Championships in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013. 

Damian Cotter has coached all over Australia, capturing four world championships in the process.
Photo: AAP

From 2013 to 2014, Cotter started his professional coaching career, serving as an assistant for the NBL Sydney Kings and was the head coach of the NSW Institute of Sport Basketball Program. Cotter was promoted to head coach of the Sydney Kings for the 2014-15 campaign. During this time frame, he was an assistant coach of the Australian Women’s National basketball team, helping lead them to a 3rd place finish at the 2014 World Championships and 5th place finish at the 2016 Olympics. In 2016, Cotter was hired to consult for the Sri Lankan Basketball Federation for both their Men’s and Women’s teams.

For the start of the 2017-18 season, Cotter made his way to North America and was hired by the Brooklyn Nets G-League team, the Long Island Nets, as an assistant coach. Following the season, he was hired by the Washington Wizard’s G-League team, the Capital City Go-Go, to fill the same role. After that he joined the Bulls G-League team as the head coach.

Billy Schmidt has followed Billy Donvan since their days at Florida. He was the assistant coach for the Gators in the 2014-15 season. He then followed Donovan to the NBA joining the Thunder, holding the positions of Quality Control coach (2015-2019), Assistant coach (2018-2020), and Director of Quality Control (2019-2020).

Photo: Georgia Tech Athletics

Prior to joining Donovan at Florida, Schmidt spent his 11 previous seasons under head coach Brian Gregory as an assistant at the University of Dayton (2003-2011), and Georgia Tech (2011-2014). Schmidt started off as a student manager at Wake Forest (1988-92).

From 1992-1994, Schmidt was an assistant coach at the famed Oak Hill Academy. Oak Hill won the championship each season he was there. Schmidt pushed forward in his career as an assistant coach at Tennessee (1994-97), Northwestern (1997-2000), Seton Hall (2000), and Michigan (2001- 03).

The Player Development coordinators shouldn’t be overlooked either.

Henry Domercant, a Naperville North graduate and Eastern Illinois University basketball alum, has had playing experience throughout the G-League and overseas in Europe. His coaching career has been 2017-2018 with the Maine Red Claws and 2018-2020 with the Windy City Bulls in the G-League as an assistant coach. 

Photo: Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

Ronnie Burrell had nearly the same experience as a player as Domercant. He went overseas for his playing career, but his only coaching experience is one year with the G-League’s Long Island Nets as an assistant.

Photo: UNCG Basketball/Twitter

As for Ty Abbott, he has held previous positions as Player Development Manager and Player Development Specialist for the Sixers G-League team and NBA team, respectively. As a player, he was first-team All Pac-12 at Arizona State and then played professionally in Europe.

Arizona State guard Ty Abbott (3) drives the baseline during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Washington State Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, in Pullman, Wash. Abbott lead Arizona State with 16 points. Washington State won 78-61.
Photo: AP Photo/Dean Hare

Max Rothschild also came from the Sixers organization as a player development associate in the last year. Prior to his role with the Sixers, he was team captain and standout star for the Penn Quakers. 

Photo: Pennsylvania University Athletics

It is interesting to see that both Abbott and Rothschild were plucked from the Sixers by Marc Eversly, who was with the organization prior to being named Bulls General Manager.

This coaching staff has a long list of playing and coaching experience, both here in the States and abroad. Hopefully all this knowledge is laced together and the Bulls put the best product possible on the floor this year.

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