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June 26, 2012
NU's Coleman staying put as Illinois hires Parham
The reports of Nebraska basketball director of player development Ronald "Chin" Coleman possibly leaving to take an assistant coach opening at Illinois sent a brief scare into Husker fans, but it turned out to be short lived.
OrangeandBlueNews.com basketball analyst Brad Sturdy confirmed to HuskerOnline.com on Tuesday that new Illini head coach John Groce has hired Illinois State assistant Paris Parham to complete his staff.
Coleman and Parham were joined by Houston assistant Daniyal Robinson as the final three candidates for the opening, which was created when Isaac Chew left to take a job at Marquette in May, less than two months after leaving Missouri for Illinois.
After joining Nebraska head coach Tim Miles' staff back in early April, Coleman was recently given permission by Miles to interview for the Illinois job.
The move would have given the Chicago native the title of assistant coach once again, as he got his first assistant job under Miles at Colorado State back in 2011. It also would have likely meant a bump up in salary, the ability to go on the road and recruit, and the chance to return to his home state of Illinois.
As director of player development, Coleman is not allowed to travel for recruiting, though he still can contact recruits and set up unofficial and official visits to campus.
His annual salary was just recently set at $115,000, which ranked fourth behind full-time assistants Chris Harriman ($200,000), Ben Johnson ($185,000), and Craig Smith ($160,000).
By keeping Coleman on board, the Huskers maintain one of the best connections to the Chicago basketball recruiting scene there is in the entire country.
His years of experience as head coach at national prep basketball power Whitney Young High School and with the heralded Mac Irvin Fire AAU program gave NU instant recruiting ties within the Windy City.
Coleman's lack of coaching experience was the primary reason Miles decided not to make him a full-time assistant, but Nebraska will still be able to tap into Coleman's wealth of Chicago connections.
That foot in the door should only continue to build stronger relationships the longer Coleman remains on staff Nebraska becomes a more recognizable name within the Chicago high school and AAU ranks.