IOWA CITY, Iowa – Matt Gatens is coming home and he couldn’t be happier.
The former Iowa City High and University of Iowa basketball star was introduced as Fran McCaffery’s new assistant coach on Thursday.
Gatens will start his new job at his alma mater on Monday, which is also his 33rd birthday.
He has spent the past four seasons on the men’s basketball staff at Drake University, including the last three as an assistant coach for Darian DeVries.
Gatens talked about coming home and coaching at his alma mater as the guest on Friday’s Hawk Fanatic radio show and podcast.
The interview lasts for about 30 minutes and starts about 45 minutes into the podcast.
Gatens addressed multiple topics, including growing up in Iowa City, the influence from his parents, and his decision to retire from playing professional basketball in his mid-20s to launch a coaching career.
Gatens got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant under former Iowa assistant coach Bruce Pearl at Auburn.
Fran McCaffery prefers to hire coaches to whom he has a personal connection, and that certainly is the case with Gatens, who played on McCaffery’s first two teams at Iowa.
Gatens helped lead the breakthrough under Fran McCaffery as Iowa made the National Invitation Tournament in Gatens’s senior season in 2011-12. Iowa had suffered through four losing seasons prior to that season.
Gatens, who is married and has two children looks forward to spending more time with his parents, who still live in Iowa City.
Gatens is the son of former Iowa basketball player Mike Gatens.
We appreciate Matt being our guest and welcome him back home.