April 18, 2011
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
With the hiring of Allen Edwards, University of Wyoming head men's basketball coach Larry Shyatt finalized his coaching staff on Monday. Edwards, who won two national championships as a player at Kentucky, has been named an Assistant Coach for the Cowboys.
Edwards played in three Final Fours at Kentucky and has reached the NCAA Tournament seven times as either a player or assistant coach. He has spent the past nine seasons as a college basketball coach.
"I couldn't be more excited to add Allen and his family to our staff at Wyoming," Shyatt said. "Allen represents everything that is good about the game of basketball. He is also synonymous with winning. As far as I know, he is the only player since John Wooden's teams at UCLA to play for three national titles and win two.
"I have known Allen for a long time, as he worked with my dear friend Anthony Grant at VCU. At VCU, Allen was instrumental in guiding some tremendous defensive teams.
"Allen will provide great leadership and will be a solid role model for our players. Most of all, he will help in every phase of the program as we work to restore the glory at Wyoming."
Edwards comes to Wyoming from Western Kentucky University, where he spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach. The Hilltoppers finished 16-16 overall and 8-8 in the Sun Belt Conference. They won a pair of conference tournament games before losing to North Texas in the semifinals. He coached a pair of First Team All-Sun Belt performers in Sergio Kerusch and Steffphon Pettigrew. Each player was also recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as members of the All-District 24 team. Pettigrew was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Edwards enjoyed a tremendous playing career at Kentucky (1995-98), where he played three seasons under Rick Pitino and one under Tubby Smith. The Wildcats advanced to three straight Final Fours during Edwards' sophomore, junior and senior seasons. They won the national championship in both 1996 and 1998. During his freshman season, Kentucky advanced to the Elite Eight.
In his time in Lexington, Kent., the Wildcats compiled a record of 132-16 and won three Southeastern Conference titles. Edwards averaged 9.2 points, 3.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds a game as a senior and 8.6 points as a junior.
Following his career at Kentucky, Edwards played in both the CBA and the IBL. He returned to Kentucky for the 2002-03 season and completed his degree in sociology while serving as a special assistant to head coach Tubby Smith. The Wildcats finished 16-0 in the SEC that season and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Edwards took his first full-time assistant coaching position at Moorehead State prior to the 2003-04 season. He spent three seasons at Moorehead State working under head coach Kyle Macy.
He joined the staff at Virginia Commonwealth University for the 2006-07 season. In three years at VCU, he helped guide the Rams to a 76-25 overall record and a 45-9 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Rams advanced to the postseason each year, playing in the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT once. In 2007, VCU upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2007, the Rams led the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense and ranked in the top 10 in field goal percentage defense. In 2008-09, the Rams led the CAA in field goal percentage defense.
During his time at VCU, Edwards worked with fellow Wyoming Assistant Coach Jeremy Shyatt. Shyatt served as VCU's Director of Basketball Operations from 2007-09.
Prior to taking the job at WKU, Edwards spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant coach at Towson University under head coach Pat Kennedy.
Edwards is a native of Miami, Fla., and was Florida's Mr. Basketball during his senior season at Miami Senior High School.
Edwards and his wife LaTanya have a daughter, Mai'a (10), and a son, Jaxon (3).
"I am excited about the opportunity to come to the University of Wyoming," Edwards said. "I have known Coach Shyatt for some time, dating back to when I worked with Jeremy (Shyatt) at VCU. I have always respected him and what he has accomplished in his career. To be able to join this staff at Wyoming and help the Cowboys get back to where they need to be is very exciting."