LARAMIE, Wyo. - University of Wyoming men's basketball head coach Allen Edwards completed his 2016-17 staff Tuesday with the hiring of Tony Pujol as an assistant coach. Pujol previously spent time at Alabama and VCU.
"Tony is a coach and person that Jeremy [Shyatt] and myself are very familiar with from our time together at VCU," Edwards said. "He brings a wealth of experience to Laramie from his time as an assistant and head coach, but, like Jermaine [Kimbrough], is a very well-rounded person that can help our program excel in several areas. We are happy to welcome him and his family to Cowboy basketball."
Pujol last coached collegiately at Alabama for five seasons from 2010-2014 under head coach Anthony Grant. Pujol helped the Crimson Tide compile a 99-71 record during his time on the staff, including three-straight 20-win seasons for the first time since 1990-92. Alabama earned two NIT bids and one NCAA bid from 2011-13 and finished runner-up in the NIT in 2011.
That 2010-11 Crimson Tide team featured one of the toughest defenses in the nation, as Alabama surrendered only 59.4 points per game, the eighth-lowest average in the nation. Alabama's tenacious defense helped it go 19-0 at home during that season. On the recruiting trail, he helped the Tide land a 2011 recruiting class that Rivals.com ranked as the fifth best in the nation with four prospects ranked in the top 100 nationally. After the 2013-14 season, Pujol stepped away from collegiate coaching to dedicate more time to his family and has coached the last year and a half in the AAU ranks in New Jersey.
Previously, Pujol served under Grant at VCU from 2006-09 with Edwards and Jeremy Shyatt. The staff guided the Rams to a 76-25 record in those three seasons, including 45-9 in the Colonial Athletic Association. VCU won three conference regular-season titles and two tournament titles in that span to play in the NCAA tournament twice and NIT once. Two Rams from that team, Eric Maynor and Larry Sanders, would go on to be selected in the NBA draft. Pujol joined Grant's staff after two seasons at Appalachian State from 2004-06, where he helped the Mountaineers win the Southern Conference North Division in 2005. The team also earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award based on the program's APR. His recruits would help ASU win a school-record 25 games the season after he left.
Prior to his collegiate career, Pujol was a high school coach in south Florida for 13 seasons, including nine at Northwest Christian Academy in Miami, where he posted a 250-46 record with state titles in 1999, 2003 and 2004. He graduated from Sterling College (Kansas) in 1989 with a degree in business administration and was a standout in both basketball and baseball, earning all-conference honors on the diamond in his final three seasons.
Tony and his wife, Mayle, have three daughters, Kasey, Kristen and Mia.
"First, I would like to thank coach Edwards for this tremendous opportunity," Pujol said. "My family and I are humbled and extremely excited to be a part of Allen Edwards' basketball staff and family. I have so much respect and appreciation for Allen and his wife, LaTanya, for making my family feel welcomed and valued in Laramie. I'm looking forward to serving and supporting coach Edwards, our student-athletes and our staff in any way possible to continue the proud tradition that is Wyoming basketball. Go Cowboys! The University of Wyoming is a magnificent institution. It is an honor and a privilege for Mayle, Kasey, Kristen, Mia and I to be a part of it and the Laramie community."