Coaching Veteran Mike Wells Hired as Assistant Menís Basketball Coach
TOLEDO, OH — Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk announced the hiring of Mike Wells on Friday as an assistant coach for the Rocket men’s basketball program. Wells brings a wealth of experience to Toledo after coaching 17 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as well as the last three seasons in the collegiate ranks.
“I’m delighted to welcome Mike and his family to our program,” Kowalczyk said. “Mike has worked for some of the best coaches in the NBA, and I think he can help our program grow in a lot of ways. One area we really need to get better at is defense, and Mike has a great defensive mind which will help us all grow in that department.”
Wells comes to Toledo following one season at South Florida (2013-14) under Stan Heath and two years at George Mason (2011-13) under head coach Paul Hewitt. Prior to getting back into the collegiate level, Wells had an extensive NBA coaching career for 17 seasons that featured two NBA Championships. In addition, he served as the head scout for the USA Basketball Senior National Team for four summers, including the gold-medal winning team at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
“The work that Coach Kowalczyk has done here the last four years is very impressive,” Wells said. “To have an opportunity to join him and his staff, along with this group of players after such a successful season, is a special opportunity. I think the college game has gone more and more to an NBA-style of flow, and with my background at the NBA level I hope I can present some different ideas to Coach Kowalczyk that help make us a better team.”
Wells’ NBA career began in 1995 with the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets (1995-2004) where he worked his way up from assistant video coordinator to assistant coach. From there, he went on to fill the same position with the Los Angeles Lakers (2004-05) under Rudy Tomjanovich before spending four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs (2005-09) that featured the 2007 NBA Championship title. He wrapped up his time in the NBA with the Washington Wizards (2009-11).
Wells and Tomjanovich also worked together during his time as the head scout for Team USA (1998-2003) where he helped produce not only the gold-medal team for the 2000 Summer Olympics, but the bronze-medal team at the 1998 FIBA World Championships and the squads for the 1999 and 2003 Pre Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.
A 1993 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene, Wells played two seasons for the Cougars before earning his degree in Sports Management, then served as an assistant coach for two seasons while obtaining his Master’s Degree in Sports Science from the United States Sports Academy. He and his wife Jacqueline have two sons, Trenton and Troy.