Jim Platt has been named an assistant coach for Saint Louis University’s men’s basketball team. Platt, who was director of basketball operations at Liberty last season, will fill the spot left by Jim Crews who was named interim head coach after Rick Majerus took a leave of absence due to health concerns. Platt brings with him 32 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience, including five years as an assistant coach at Army, four of which were under Crews.
“Jim has a great passion for coaching and the student-athletes,” Crews said in a press release. “He is a strong recruiter and is excellent at coaching the fundamentals and the details of the game. I’ve known Jim for more than 30 years and we were on staff together at West Point, so that familiarity helps.”
Platt’s resume features nine years of head coaching experience and 12 postseason appearances, including 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament and a pair of NIT bids. He served as head coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1990-94 and Charleston Southern University from 2000-05.
This will be the fourth different school in four years for Platt, who said he is excited for the chance to work with Crews again.
“I’m thankful to have the opportunity to join coach Crews, the coaching staff and the great student-athletes here at SLU,” Platt said. “Jim has been a great mentor for me during my career. I believe that under Jim’s leadership, experience and value system, the basketball program is going to be represented in a manner that emulates the values of Saint Louis University and Billiken athletics.”
Platt spent five seasons as head coach of Illinois’ Luther High School North before transitioning to the collegiate level as an assistant at Illinois State. After a six-year stint at ISU, he returned to the Chicago-area, this time as an assistant coach at DePaul University. He helped lead the Blue Devils to six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including back-to-back trips to the Sweet Sixteen from 1985-87. Platt’s success at DePaul earned him his first head-coach position in 1990 with Arkansas-Little Rock. He spent four years as the Trojans’ head coach, accruing a record of 56-59.
After two three-year stints as an assistant at Tulsa and Florida State, Platt was named head coach at Charleston Southern, where he earned Big South Conference Coach of the Year Honors after he led the Buccaneers to the Big South Tournament finals in his first season at the helm. In 2005, Platt resigned to join Crews’s staff at Army. He was 55-89 over five seasons as Charleston’s head coach.
Platt, who was among the potential candidates to replace Crews as Army’s head coach following his termination in 2009, spent one more season with the Black Knights before returning to the state of Illinois as an assistant coach with Bradley. He spent a season on the sidelines with the Braves before accepting a position as the director of basketball operations at Liberty.
“SLU represents the very best in collegiate athletics,” Platt said. “It’s a school with tremendous academics and one that is competing at the highest level of college basketball. It’s the best combination to represent as a college coach.”Brian Haenchen covers the Saint Louis University men’s basketball team for The University News. You can follow him on Twitter (@Brian_Haenchen) or email him (firstname.lastname@example.org).