Xavier Names New Assistants

It's now official. Chris Mack has named Mike Pegues and Ashley Howard as the two new assistants.

Xavier University head basketball coach Chris Mack announced today that he has filled the two vacancies on his staff with Drexel assistant Ashley Howard and Delaware assistant Mike Pegues. Both coaches come from successful programs in the Colonial Athletic Conference.

"After conducting an extensive search over the last few weeks I am excited to welcome Ashley Howard and Mike Pegues as assistant coaches to the staff," said Mack. "Both Mike and Ashley are high character people and will add to our program immediately. Like all of our assistant coaches, Mike and Ashley will have a hand in everything we do at Xavier, from coaching on the court to player development to recruiting. Both men left their alma maters to come and be a part of Xavier University and our program, which tells me they have a tremendous belief in the vision of Xavier Basketball."

Ashley Howard spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Drexel University under James "Bruiser" Flint. Drexel finished 29-7 overall this past season, winning the CAA Regular Season Championship with a 16-2 record and advancing to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament.

"Ashley has been around the game his entire life," said Mack. "He is a tireless worker and will bring energy every single day to the practice floor. He's worked with countless pros even before he hit the college floor in a coaching capacity. It was very evident in talking to some of his former players that Ashley deeply impacts the players he coaches."

Howard, a former Drexel guard, returned to University City after serving as an assistant coach at La Salle for four seasons under John Giannini. During the summer of 2006, Howard was an assistant coach of the Jamaican National team and accompanied the squad on its Olympic qualifying bid in Kingston. The team earned a gold medal in the qualifying tourney. Howard also served as the Co-Director of the Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp before arriving at La Salle.

Howard was a member of the Dragons from 1999-2002. He played for two seasons before having his career cut short due to injury. In what would turn out to be his last season, Howard averaged 8.9 points and a team-high 4.9 assists per game. He also tied for the team lead with 50 three-pointers and shot .382 from behind the arc. In America East play, Howard made just under 46 percent of his long-range attempts. He remained at Drexel as a student assistant coach under Flint during the 2002-03 season.

Howard graduated with a communications degree from Drexel in 2004. His father Maurice played his college ball at Maryland and was a second round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1976 and also played for the New Orleans Jazz.

Mike Pegues spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Delaware, under head coach Monté Ross. Delaware finished 18-14 this past season, including 12-6 in the CAA. Pegues, a 2000 UD graduate with a degree in communications, served as video coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth during the 2009-10 season, helping the Rams to a record of 27-9 and the Collegiate Basketball Invitational title.

"Mike starts his time at Xavier with a tremendous pedigree," said Mack. "As a high school player Mike was coached by the legendary Morgan Wooten and then established himself as the University of Delaware's all-time leading scorer. He did it with an IQ for the game he learned at a young age. He's used that gift to help develop post players his last two years at Delaware. I'm excited about Mike's future."

Pegues is a former Academic All-American who led the Blue Hens to two NCAA Tournament appearances and finished as the all-time leading scorer in UD men's basketball history with 2,030 points. Pegues, who played under former UD head coach and current Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey from 1996-2000, was a two-time All-District selection and a 2000 CoSIDA Academic All-American, became the first UD men's player to be named CAA Player of the Year (1999-2000). He was inducted into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.

Pegues, a former standout at national power DeMatha Catholic High School in the Washington, D.C. area, played professionally in Italy, New Zealand, England, and Argentina and one season in the Continental Basketball Association. After suffering a knee injury, he returned close to home to teach at Friendship Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C. He served as an assistant coach for three seasons at Bishop O'Connell High School under Joe Wooten, son of legendary high school head coach Morgan Wooten. He also coached the DC Assault AAU squad.

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