Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa men's basketball assistants were all head coaches

Dillard, Francis, Speraw to fill void from Fran McCaffery's suspension

Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery speaks to an official as assistant coaches (from left) Kirk Speraw, Andrew Francis and Sherman Dillard look on during a game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2014. (Cliff Jete/The Gazette)
Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery speaks to an official as assistant coaches (from left) Kirk Speraw, Andrew Francis and Sherman Dillard look on during a game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2014. (Cliff Jete/The Gazette)

A rudderless ship, the Iowa men’s basketball team will not be the next two games.

The two-game suspension of Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery for a postgame altercation with a game official at Ohio State Tuesday means someone has to assume more of a role in Saturday’s home game against Rutgers and next Thursday’s contest at Wisconsin.

Some ones, actually.

McCaffery said Wednesday that since assistant Andrew Francis had the team’s scouting responsibility for the Rutgers game, he’d be the lead man Saturday. Likewise, Kirk Speraw had the scouting assignment for Wisconsin, so he will be the primary coach in Madison.

Though all three of McCaffery’s assistants have been with him since his first game as Iowa’s coach nine years ago, all have been college head coaches.

Speraw was the head coach at Pensacola Junior College from 1987 to 1990, and at Central Florida from 1993 until returning to his Iowa alma mater in 2010. His 16-year record at UCF was 247-233. He coached UCF to four NCAA tournaments.

Speraw was a walk-on from Sioux City who played for Lute Olson at Iowa, then was an Olson graduate assistant for Olson’s 1980 Final Four team.

Speraw was put in charge in 2014 after McCaffery was suspended for one game for an incident during the previous contest, at Wisconsin. Iowa defeated Northwestern under Speraw’s sideline direction, 93-67.

Iowa assistant Sherman Dillard was a Division-I head coach for 11 seasons. He had that position at Indiana State from 1994-1997 and James Madison from 1997-2004. His career mark was 122-158.

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Francis came to Iowa from Siena, where he was a McCaffery assistant. He was the head women’s basketball coach at Mount St. Vincent College in the Bronx from 2003-2005, with a 26-27 record.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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