Meet ISU's New Assistant Coach

It didn't take Wayne Morgan long to fill the void left by the departure of Darryl Sharp, which was announced last week. With the hiring of Michael Mennenga today Iowa State has completed a near-overhaul of its entire coaching staff since last fall.

Michael Mennenga, who assisted Buffalo to a school-record 23 wins last season, was named assistant men's basketball coach at Iowa State, ISU head coach Wayne Morgan announced today. Mennenga replaces former assistant Darryl Sharp, who resigned last week.

"We are extremely pleased with the addition of Michael to our staff," Morgan said. "His enthusiasm, work ethic and experience will be a great asset to our program. There is no doubt that Michael is one of the rising stars in our business."

"Words cannot describe how excited I feel right now," Mennenga said. "I am looking forward to working with Coach Morgan, his staff and players. Iowa State and basketball are synonymous with winning and to have the opportunity to be a part of this program is a great honor. It is a really exciting time at Iowa State right now. They have outstanding players returning and a great recruiting class coming in."

The 35-year-old Mennenga, who has over 10 years of coaching experience, spent the last five seasons at the University of Buffalo as an assistant to Reggie Witherspoon. The Bulls posted their best season in school history in 2004-05, tallying a school-record 23 victories and gaining their first postseason berth in school history with a NIT appearance. UB defeated Drexel before losing at St. Joseph's, the eventual NIT runner-up, 55-50. The Bulls were 0.5 seconds away from earning their first NCAA Tournament bid, losing to Ohio in the Mid-American Conference final on a tip-in at the buzzer (80-79).

Mennenga helped recruit and tutor 2005 MAC Player of the Year Turner Battle, who averaged 15.5 points and 4.4 assists en route to the prestigious honor. Mark Bortz was the MAC Sixth Man of the Year in 2005 under Mennenga's watch. Mennenga's primary focus at UB was recruiting, game preparation, working with post/perimeter players and academic coordination. In the summer of 2003, he devised the Junior College All-American Basketball Camp held in Indianapolis.

Along with his coaching duties at the University at Buffalo, Mennenga served with the Nigerian Basketball Federation and USA Basketball. In the summer of 1999, he served as an assistant coach for the Nigerian Junior National Team at the World Championships held in Portugal, spending one month in Lagos, Nigeria and Portugal.

In the summer of 2001, he was a workout coach and member of the Selection Committee for USA Basketball. This team consisted of the Top 12 junior college players in the country. The team traveled to the Tournament of the Americas in Argentina. His duties included practice preparation, implementation of team system and player selection.

A native of Rantoul, IL, Mennenga spent four seasons with the University of Maine as an assistant before coming to Buffalo. While at Maine, he helped the Black Bears set school records in wins, attendance, and All-Conference players. In his final season, 1999-2000, the Black Bears compiled a 24-7 record.

Prior to his hiring at Maine, Mennenga devised and developed the Nike SuperSoph basketball camp, featuring the Top 50 sophomores in the Midwest. At that time, he also served as a member of the Nike All-American Camp Staff.

Mennenga began his coaching career at Rantoul High School in 1993 and joined Parkland Community College for one season. He graduated from Morehead State University cum laude in 1993 with a degree in Finance and was a member of the men's basketball program.

Mennenga and his wife, Shannetta, have a daughter, Cheyenne (1).


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