HOOPS: Gators hire new assistant coach

University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan wasted little time completing his coaching staff, hiring Lewis Preston as assistant coach to fill the vacancy left by Anthony Grant's departure for the head coaching position at VCU.

Preston comes to the University of Florida after spending six years under Mike Brey at Notre Dame. Preston helped the Irish to a 118-70 (.628) mark in his time in South Bend, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and a Sweet 16 showing in 2003. The Irish reached the postseason in each of Preston's six years at Notre Dame.

"We're very excited to have Lewis as a part of our staff," said Donovan. "He's a very hard-working coach in recruiting and on the floor. He comes from an outstanding program at Notre Dame, has always worked around quality people and we feel very fortunate to have him as a part of our program here at Florida."

During his time on the Irish staff, he worked with the Irish post players and is also a highly regarded national recruiter.

The Boones Mill, Va., native joined the Irish men's basketball program following two seasons as an assistant on Pete Strickland's staff at Coastal Carolina, where he oversaw the academic progress and preseason conditioning of players, assisted in coaching, organized travel and was involved with on-campus recruiting.

A 1993 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Preston also spent four years playing professionally in Europe with stints in Luxembourg, Ireland and Finland.

Despite playing just one season of high school basketball, Preston had an extremely successful collegiate career as a player. He began as a walk-on at VMI, but left as a 1,000-point scorer and a school-record holder in four categories. He finished his career with 1,146 career points, becoming just the 21st player in school history to top the 1,000-point plateau.

As a senior, Preston led the Keydets in scoring (16.7), rebounding (7.1), field-goal percentage (.540), free-throw percentage (.800) and blocked shots (48). Preston was a two-time all-Southern Conference selection, leading the league in blocked shots twice and finishing as its second all-time shot-blocking leader.

Born Oct. 31, 1970, Preston graduated from VMI with a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in English literature. He married the former Angela Sangermano in May of 2001. The couple has two daughters, Alexandra, born in December of 2002, and Emma, born in January of 2005.

Preston Quick Facts

Born:

October 31, 1970 in Franklin County, Va.

Family:

Married to the former Angela Sangermano in May of 2001 ... They have a daughter, Alexandra (born in December of 2002) and Emma (born in January of 2005).

Education:

Graduated from Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Va. in 1988 ... Graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1993 with bachelor's degree in history and a minor in English Literature.

Playing Experience:

Franklin County High School in Rocky Mount, Va. Played four years at VMI (1990-93), earning All-Southern Conference honors twice and setting the school record in career shot blocks ... Played professionally for Palma Ahn in Wormeldange, Luxembourg (1993-94), Tolka Rivers in Dublin, Ireland (1994-95) and Lahden Namika Basketball Organization in Lahti, Finland (1995-97).

Coaching Background:

Assistant coach at Coastal Carolina University under Pete Strickland 1998-2000 ... Assistant coach at the University of Notre Dame under Mike Brey 2000-06… Assistant coach at the University of Florida 2006-present


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