The Wisconsin men’s basketball team hired former Iowa guard Dean Oliver as an assistant coach Thursday.
Oliver, a prep star at Mason City, played at Iowa from 1997 to 2001, finishing his career with the Big Ten Tournament championship and an NCAA tournament berth. He was a member of the Hawkeyes’ last Sweet 16 team in 1999.
“I am extremely honored and excited to be joining the men’s basketball staff at the University of Wisconsin,” Oliver said in a statement. “It is truly a dream to coach at such a prestigious, storied Big Ten program. I can’t wait to get to work with the young nucleus of players as well as the exciting incoming recruits. I am equally as excited to work with and learn from Coach (Greg) Gard and staff.”
Oliver’s previous coaching experience came as an assistant at North Dakota (2012-14) before spending the last two seasons on the staff at Illinois State (2015-17).
“We are really excited to welcome Dean back to the Big Ten and the Wisconsin basketball family,” Gard said in a statement. “I have been impressed with him over the years and after getting to know him better through this process, it became easy to see why he has been so successful in the past as a player and most recently as a coach. Everyone I talked to about Dean had the utmost respect for his leadership, teaching abilities and passion for helping student-athletes.
“He has a tremendous reputation for building relationships, has great rapport with players and excels in player development, particularly with guards. It’s rare to find a coach with his combination of professional playing experience and coaching ability and I have no doubt he is the right fit for our program.”