Townsend joins Hurricanes staff

During an extended career as a men's collegiate basketball assistant coach Kurtis Townsend has worked with a select group of NBA players, including New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd, Chicago Bulls point guard Jamal Crawford and Atlanta Hawks forward Shareef-Abdur Rahim.

Now, Townsend's resume also includes the University of Miami.

Hurricanes men's basketball coach Perry Clark announced the hiring of the 45-yeard-old Townsend as an assistant coach, earlier this week. Townsend joins the Hurricanes after having served the past 10 seasons as an assistant coach at some of the top programs in the country, including Southern Cal, Michigan, California and Western Kentucky.

"Kurtis is a wonderful addition to our coaching staff," said Clark, who is coming off an 11-17 season with the Hurricanes. "He has coached at some of the top programs in the country, and brings a wealth of experience from both a coaching and recruiting standpoint."

Townsend spent the last two seasons at USC assisting the Trojans to the Pac-10 tournament championship game in each of those seasons. In 2001-02, his first season with the Trojans, USC finished 22-10, earning an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament and finishing the season ranked 18th in the nation by the Associated Press.

Prior to his stint at USC, Townsend spent three seasons at Michigan guiding the Wolverines to the NIT in 2000. He was an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky in 1997-98 following four seasons at California (1993-97). With the Golden Bears, Townsend was part of a staff that appeared in three NCAA Tournaments (1994, 96, 97), including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 1997.

Over the last 10 seasons, Townsend has proven himself to be one of the top recruiters in college basketball. He has coached or recruited a host of players that have gone onto the NBA, including Kidd, Crawford, Abdur-Rahim, Lamond Murray and Sean Marks.

Townsend began his coaching career on the high school level in San Jose, California, where he served as an assistant coach at Leland High (1984-87) and Del Mar High (1987-89). He took over the head coaching duties at Leigh High in 1989 and in his two seasons led his squad to a pair of league championships and consecutive State Section Titles. In 1991, Townsend took over at Willow Glen High and led the school to two league championships as well as two state sectional semifinal appearances.

As a player, Townsend was a point guard at Western Kentucky for two seasons (1978-80) and was a key member of the Hilltopper's 1980 Ohio Valley Conference title and NCAA tournament team. Townsend earned a Bachelor's Degree from Western Kentucky in 1982.

Before transferring to Western Kentucky, Townsend played two seasons at Menlo (CA) Junior College earning first-team All-State and honorable mention All-America honors in 1978.

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