By Corey Johns, So Much Sports Baltimore
Just about a month after he was announced as the new head coach of the UMBC men’s basketball program, Ryan Odom has completed his coaching staff; hiring Nate Dixon, Eric Skeeters and Bryce Crawford as assistants and Griff Aldrich as the director of basketball operations.
“I’m excited to announce the addition of four excellent coaches to our staff at UMBC,” Odom said in a press release. “These men share in my vision and the universities’ vision for our student-athletes and the men’s basketball program. I feel very fortunate to have high quality people like Nate, Eric, Bryce and Griff join me at UMBC.”
Dixon was Odom’s associate head coach while at Lenoir-Rhyne in 2015-16 and also worked with him at UNC-Charlotte.
Prior to his service at Lenoir-Rhyne, Dixon spent four years at Charlotte as the team’s Technology and Scouting Assistant.
Dixon has been a part of six conference championship teams — regular and postseason combined — and helped lead four teams to the NCAA Tournament (two at Division I and two at Division II). He has been rated as one of the top mid-major assistants by both Basketball Times and HoopScoop Online.
Before Charlotte he was an assistant at Wyoming (2010-11), Louisiana Lafayette (2009-10), New Orleans (2007-09), Louisiana-Monroe (2005-07), Florida (2003-2005) and Stetson (2001-03).
In his two-year stint at Florida, the Gators won the 2005 SEC Tournament and Dixon worked with notable future NBA players David Lee, Corey Brewer, Al Horford and Joakim Noah.
At the Division II level he was an assistant at Belmont Abbey (1997-98) and Queens (1998-00), where he helped guide the Royals to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16 in consecutive seasons.
Skeeters grew up just a few miles away from UMBC and played at Woodlawn High School and went to Coppin State. He coacheds prominent AAU teams DC Assault (1995-96) and Baltimore’s Best/Baltimore Select (1992-94).
Prior to South Florida he was a member of the Towson University staff for six seasons and also coached at Virginia Tech, Youngstown State and Coppin State.At the collegiate level, Skeeters most recently was an assistant at George Mason for the past two seasons. Prior to that he was an assistant at South Florida for four years. Skeeters helped the Bulls to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years in 2012.
Crawford also worked with Odom and Dixon last year at Lenoir-Rhyne. Prior to that he was the assistant video coordinator and technical assistant at Texas from 2013-15. Texas went to the NCAA Tournament both years he was on the staff. He also worked with Odom at Charlotte, where he was a graduate manager for two years. He was a student manager at Ohio State before his graduation in 2011.
Aldrich brings an extensive basketball and business background to UMBC as their director of basketball operations. He founded and coached HIS Hoops in Houston, Texas, which established an elite basketball program for at-risk youth in Houston’s Third Ward, one of the city’s most impoverished areas. Aldrich has served as a head coach for various elite-level AAU teams in the Houston area for nearly two decades.