Kansas’ Kurtis Townsend Recognized for Recruiting

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas men’s basketball’s Kurtis Townsend was recognized as the top recruiting assistant coach by ESPN.com reporter Jeff Goodman Wednesday.

Goodman surveyed more than 200 college coaches on who they feared most among assistant coaches when it comes to recruiting. Townsend was No. 1 in Goodman’s Top 20. KU first-year assistant coach Jerrance Howard was ranked 12th on the list. Kansas and Duke were the only schools to have multiple assistants listed.

“The list for Townsend — who also spent time at Michigan and USC — is pretty darn impressive: Andrew Wiggins, Sherron Collins, Darrell Arthur, Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, Jeff Withey at KU and Jamal Crawford and Lavell Blanchard at Michigan,” Goodman wrote. “He also got some quality talent in his tenure at USC. Townsend gets after it, has strong connections throughout the country and has one of the best brands — and head coaches — to sell.”

Townsend enters his 10th season at Kansas in 2013-14. Since his arrival in Lawrence, Townsend has been a part of the KU program which has won a national championship, reached two Final Fours and two title games, advanced to four NCAA Tournament Elite Eights, six NCAA Sweet 16s and has won a school-record nine Big 12 regular-season titles and six conference tournament crowns.

In summer 2012, Townsend was ranked No. 7 among Division I assistant coaches by Hoop Scoop Magazine. In 2010, he was ranked 12th in the Top 25 high-major assistants by Foxsports.com.

Howard comes to KU after one season in the same position on Larry Brown’s staff at SMU. He replaces Joe Dooley who left KU after 10 seasons to become the head coach at Florida Gulf Coast in April.

“He was on Bruce Weber’s staff at Illinois then spent last season with Larry Brown at SMU before joining his former college coach Bill Self at Kansas a few months ago,” Goodman wrote about Howard. “Howard is extremely well-liked and will be tough to beat with the Kansas name on his shirt. His notches thus far include Jereme Richmond, Meyers Leonard and Brandon Paul.”

Prior to SMU, where the Mustangs were 15-17 in Brown’s first year, Howard spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Illinois. While at UI he earned a reputation as one of the top young assistant coaches in the country and one of the nation’s best recruiters. Before Illinois, Howard spent three-plus seasons on Billy Gillispie’s staffs at Texas A&M and Kentucky.

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