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UMass Athletics
The Springfield Union-News


UMass Adds Three to Men's Basketball Staff
Coach Lappas Announces Hiring of Three Assistant Coaches.
From UMass Athletics, 4/23/2001

Amherst, Mass. - University of Massachusetts Head Men's Basketball Coach Steve Lappas announced today that Kyle Wilson, a 6-2, 175-pound guard from White Rock, British Columbia, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Minuteman program for the 2001-02 season.

"We are very excited that Kyle has decided to sign with us," Lappas said. "He will really strengthen our backcourt. He's a very good three-point shooter, too. I believe he will be able to help us next year."

Wilson, who prepped at White Rock Christian Academy, averaged 24 points and 9.5 assists as a senior, and was ranked as Canada's top point guard. In the provincial tournament, Wilson averaged 28 points and 13.5 assists en route to tourney MVP honors, as White Rock finished second.

"I really liked the coaching staff and have heard good things about the University," Wilson said. "Coach Lappas is a great coach, and I believe this will be a good opportunity for me to come in and help the program. It's a great situation."

Known as a very good three-point shooter, Wilson nailed 12 treys in one game last year and hit 42 percent from beyond the arc as a senior. He averaged 21 points as a junior, and won the world junior three-point shooting contest in France.

The son of Rick and Caroll Wilson, Kyle was coached by Dave Craig and Scott Allen at White Rock. He also played for Ro Russell's Team Toronto AAU team.


Lappas adds 3 to basketball staff
From The Springfield Union-News Staff and wire reports, 4/24/2001

University of Massachusetts head men's basketball coach Steve Lappas announced yesterday that he has hired John Leonard, Andrew Theokas, and Christopher Walker as assistant coaches.

Walker and Theokas worked for Lappas last year at Villanova, while Leonard has longtime ties to the new Minuteman bench boss.

"We have assembled a tremendous staff," said Lappas, who was hired by UMass March 26 after resigning from Villanova. "These men are committed to developing student-athletes who will be successful in the classroom and on the court."

Leonard comes to UMass from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, where he spent the past two seasons as asssistant commissioner/operations. Prior to joining the MAAC staff, Leonard spent three seasons (1996-99) as head coach at Manhattan College, where he guided the Jaspers to a 26-57 record. He worked with Lappas as an assistant coach at Manhattan (1988-92) and Villanova (1992-96) before returning to his alma mater as head coach.

Theokas spent the 2000-01 season as administrative assistant on Lappas' Villanova staff, but will serve as a recruiter and on-the-floor coach at UMass. Prior to his one-year stint at Villanova, Theokas spent two seasons (1998-99 and 1999-2000) as an assistant coach at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.Y. Before Rider, he served as head coach at Ocean County College in Tom's River, N.J.

A former player at Villanova, Walker brings nine years of Division I coaching experience to the UMass program. A native of Houston, Walker spent the 2000-01 season as an assistant coach at Villanova and prior to that was the asssociate head coach at both Pepperdine (1999-2000) and Vanderbilt (1996-99). He began his coaching career at Loyola (Calif.) in 1992, where he worked until moving to Vanderbilt and working with Jan van Breda Kolff.


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