New Alabama A&M basketball coach Otis Hughley, Jr.: 5 things to know

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Otis Hughley, Jr. was introduced Monday as the new Alabama A&M head men’s basketball coach. (Alabama A&M University)

There’s a new buzz surrounding the Alabama A&M men’s basketball team this week, as Monday afternoon athletic director Bryan Hicks announced the hiring of Olympic and former National Basketball Association coach Otis Hughley, Jr. as the Bulldogs head men’s basketball coach.

A veteran developer of talent at the high school, college, professional, international and Olympic level, Hughley is a well-known figure at essentially every level of basketball.

5 things to know about Coach Hughley

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Otis Hughley, Jr. coached the Nigerian women’s basketball team to a top world ranking. (Making of champions via Facebook)

Those who may not be familiar with Otis Hughley, Jr. should know a few quick facts about him:

  • He began his college basketball coaching career as the head men’s and women’s coach at Wallace Community College – Selma from 1993-97, posting a 135-46 record and earned a pair of men’s conference championships and a region runner-up finish.
  • Hughley was also a member of Auburn’s women’s basketball staff in 2018-19, serving as a consultant to head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. That year the Tigers produced the best record of her nine-year tenure with the Tigers, going 22-10.
  • He was head coach at LeFlore High School in Mobile from 2004-10, where he had a 185-20 record, six Alabama State Final Four berths and a 6A State Championship in 2007.
  • He was hired as an assistant coach for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings in 2010-11, reuniting with his former LeFlore HS star, Demarcus Cousins.
  • In 2017 he was named the head coach of the Nigerian Women’s National Team. In that role he helped lead the program to three Afro-Basket Championships (2017, 2019, 2021), a No. 1 world ranking in Africa, No. 14 in the world and a berth in the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Sydney, Australia.

“It is an honor to be named head coach of the Alabama A&M men’s basketball program. I would like to thank Dr. Daniel Wims, Bryan Hicks and the entire search committee for the faith they have placed in me to lead this program and develop young men both athletically and academically. I am excited to get to work with our young men and immerse myself as part of the Bulldog Family.”

New Alabama A&M head men’s basketball coach Otis Hughley, Jr.

What people are saying about the new Bulldogs hoops coach

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Coach Hughley led the Nigerian National Team to a world ranking. (Making of Champions via Facebook)

The hiring of Hughley is a big one, and one that has resonated through the basketball and university community.

Athletic director Bryan Hicks said the search process for a new coach landed squarely on Hughley and they feel they came away with the best man for the job.

“Not only does Otis bring a wealth of experience at every level possible, but he also knows Alabama having gone to school and coached in the state. His knowledge of the landscape and his ability to recruit globally and move players to the professional ranks is a combination that will benefit this program, and more importantly our student-athletes, for years to come.”

Bryan Hicks, Alabama A&M athletic director

One of the members of the search committee also weighed in on the hire:

“Following an extensive nationwide search, the committee recommended the person that we feel can best lead our young men both on and off the court. On behalf of the committee, we would like to welcome Coach Hughley and look forward to him and his staff continuing to make the Bulldogs winners on the court and in the classroom.”

Rose Magers-Powell, head volleyball coach, Alabama A&M

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Hughley holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Computer Information Systems emphasis earned in 1987 from Livingston. He and his wife Valerie are the parents of four children – Jeremiah, Trinitee, Heavyn and Joshua.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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