Florida basketball: Korey McCray, Kevin Hovde, Carlin Hartman join Gators as assistant coaches

By OnlyGators.com Staff
March 31, 2022
Florida basketball: Korey McCray, Kevin Hovde, Carlin Hartman join Gators as assistant coaches
Basketball

Image Credit: UAA

New Florida Gators head basketball coach Todd Golden has acted quickly in filling out his on-court coaching staff, hiring three veteran names with varied levels of experience across the last week. Florida has already announced Korey McCray and Kevin Hovde as assistant coaches, while Carlin Hartman will reportedly be the third man with a chair on the bench, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello.

McCray joins the Gators as the associate head coach, coming into the program with 12 years of power conference coaching experience. His last nine seasons have been spent in the SEC at LSU (2013-14) and Mississippi State (2015-22). McCray, who is known for his recruiting acumen, was hired by Ben Howland at MSU largely due to their experience together when McCray previously worked under him at UCLA (2011-13).

“Korey is one of the most respected coaches across the Southeastern Conference, and he has proven the ability to recruit and develop complete student-athletes at the highest level,” Golden said in a statement. “He has worked tirelessly to build real relationships all around the country — specifically within the Southeast region.”

Added McCray: “I’m excited about joining Florida’s historic program and working with such an innovative and analytical coach like Coach Golden. I can’t wait to start.”

The youngest of the three assistants, Hovde joins Florida from his alma mater Richmond where he served as an assistant under Chris Mooney. The Spiders won the Atlantic 10 Tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament this season. Prior to his stint at Richmond, Hovde was the associate head coach under Golden at San Francisco and spent five other seasons by his side at both USF and Columbia.

“Kevin is extremely sharp and has a great understanding of what we want to do, not only from a basketball standpoint but in the big picture of how we want this program to run,” Golden said in a statement. “He has one of the best offensive minds we have in the college game.”

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Florida’s elite men’s basketball program,” Hovde said. “… It was going to take a special opportunity for me to leave my alma mater, and this is that opportunity.”

Though not yet announced by the program, Hartman will reportedly be the final on-court assistant on Golden’s staff. He spent the 2021-22 season as an assistant at UNLV after working under head coach Lon Kruger at Oklahoma for the five campaigns prior. (UNLV head coach Kevin Kruger is Lon’s son. Hartman made the transition after Lon retired following the 2020-21 season.)

Hartman, like McCray, is known as a superb recruiter who helped OU haul in the Big 12’s top-ranked class in 2019. He was the associate head coach at Columbia for four seasons, spending his last two alongside Golden, then an assistant. In their final campaign together, the Lions won 21 games, their most since 1968.

Mixing familiarity (Hovde, Hartman), experience along with recruiting acumen (McCray, Hartman) and innovation (Hovde) together, Golden has created what should be a formidable staff as he attempts to turn around the Florida basketball program.

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