Who Will Make Up Ford's Staff?

STILLWATER - New Oklahoma State basketball coach Travis Ford said one of his first priorities will be putting together a staff. You can expect that a few members of his coaching staff the past three seasons at the University of Massachusetts will be following him to Stillwater. Who are they? What are their backgrounds?

"I'll bring some guys, and I'll add some guys, no question," Ford said following his introduction as the Cowboys' head coach Thursday afternoon. "It's something I've got to work through in the next couple of days. It's not something I'm going to rush into but it's definitely a high priority."

Two UMass assistants who could possibly follow Ford from UMass to Oklahoma State are Tim Maloney and Steve Middleton.

Maloney, 49, has been Ford's right-hand man the past three seasons as the associate head coach at Massachusetts. The former assistant to head coach Billy Donovan at Florida (from 1997 to 2002) also was the associate head coach during Ford's last three years at Eastern Kentucky.

Maloney is a New York native (he graduated from Manhattanville College in 1984) who spent six years in an advisory role to Donovan at Florida. He was used by Donovan in every aspect of the Gator program including basketball operations, to practice, game day coaching, and recruiting. Following Florida's 2005-06 national championship season, Maloney received a piece of the game net from the national championship game and also was presented with personalized NCAA championship ring in appreciation for his help in building the Gators into a national champion, despite being on the staff at UMass.

In 12 years of Division I coaching, teams with which Maloney was associated have been to six NCAA Tournaments and three NIT appearances, including two Sweet 16 appearances, a Final Four and a national title game.

The 41-year-old Middleton also has spent the past three seasons with Ford at UMass, and made the move to Andover, Mass., after spending three years at Eastern Kentucky. He has coached the UMass big men since arriving at UMass in 2005, including Rashaun Freeman and Stephane Lasme, who was a second-round draft choice of the Golden State Warriors after earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors after finishing second in the nation in blocked shots. Freeman became the Atlantic 10's first three-time all-conference player since Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2001-04).

Middleton is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native who played at Southern Illinois (from 1985 to 1989), where he averaged 25 points per game as a senior to rank sixth in the nation. He began his coaching career as the head coach at Golconda Civilian Conservation (Ill.) in 1990, and was head coach at St. Mary's (Ky.) High School from 1993 to 2002. Ford hired him as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky in 2002.

The other assistant on Ford's staff at UMass is 32-year-old Adam Ginsburg, who also just completed his third year coaching the Minutemen. He previously was an assistant coach at Northeastern (2001-05) and Towson (1999-2001), and a staff assistant at Florida (1998-99).

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