NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vanderbilt introduced Jerry Stackhouse as its new men’s basketball coach on Monday in a joint press conference with athletic director Malcolm Turner.
Former Commodores in attendance like what they heard from Stackhouse.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to experience the new era of Vanderbilt men’s basketball under the leadership of Jerry Stackhouse,” said Shan Foster, a former All-SEC guard from 2004-08 and Vanderbilt’s all-time leading scorer. “He brings an incredibly high level of integrity and experience as a player and a coach, and it’s relevant experience. He was just coaching and won a championship and has experienced adversity. Those are things that will bode well here at Vanderbilt.”
Stackhouse, an 18-year NBA veteran who starred as a student-athlete at North Carolina under legendary coach Dean Smith, spent last season as an assistant with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to that, he served as head coach of the NBA G League’s Raptors 905, which he led to a G League championship during the 2016-17 season. Stackhouse also won G League Coach of the Year that season.
Foster said he is impressed with Stackhouse’s credentials, but the former Commodore also praised the new coach’s emphasis on values and team culture.
“He is committed to doing things the right way,” Foster said. “The most important thing I heard him talk about was his commitment to his family. You heard him talk about his parents and the impact they’ve had on his life and his faith. Those are things that ultimately translate over to the basketball court. Having that background is going to bode well not only for Vanderbilt University but for the players who paly under him.”
Vanderbilt great Will Perdue, a former All-American center and 1,000-point scorer with the Commodores from 1983-88, played against Stackhouse in the NBA. He said Stackhouse’s pedigree adds a unique element to the Vanderbilt program as college basketball continues to evolve.
“As he talked about, more and more programs are starting to play NBA-style basketball,” Perdue said. “What is it now that every kid dreams about? It’s playing in the league. Now you have a guy who hasn’t just played there, but he’s coached in the G League. He has that knowledge … I like the fact that Malcolm thought outside the box with this hire. I love the fact that he’s hit the fast-forward button, not just the move-forward button.”
Foster said recruits will take notice of Stackhouse’s stellar NBA career. He averaged 16.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 31.2 minutes over 18 seasons in the league. A two-time All-Star with the Detroit Pistons (2000, 2001), Stackhouse posted career highs of 29.8 points (second in the NBA) during the 2000-01 season, leading the league in total points and free throws made. He reached the 2006 NBA Finals as a member of the Dallas Mavericks.
“It’s one thing to say I coached at a high level,” Foster said. “It’s another thing to say, I did what you’re trying to do. I excelled, I was a leader of a team, I put a team on my back under tight circumstances. Those are experiences you can’t pay for. It’s certainly an incredible thing for Vanderbilt to have that kind of coaching on its staff right now.”