Hawks Announce Additions To Coaching Staff
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ATLANTA -– The Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club has named Melvin Hunt, Chris Jent, Greg Foster, Marlon Garnett and Matt Hill as assistant coaches on Head Coach Lloyd Pierce’s coaching staff. Nate Babcock has also been added as Special Assistant to the Head Coach.
“When we set out to assemble a staff, we were looking for A-plus talent and A-plus people, and that speaks to the individuals we added,” said Pierce. “These coaches embody what we’re looking for in terms of character and credibility, and will help us grow our program and our organization. They will be great teachers and mentors for the players they’ll be working with and great representatives for the Hawks.”
Hunt comes to Atlanta from the Dallas Mavericks, where he spent three seasons on Rick Carlisle’s staff. Prior to Dallas, Hunt was with the Denver Nuggets for five years, including serving as interim head coach for the final 23 games of the 2014-15 campaign.
Before his arrival in Denver, he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers to one of the most successful runs in franchise history, including reaching the NBA Finals in 2007, the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009, and winning a franchise-best 66 games in 2008-09. Hunt was also part of the Eastern Conference All-Star coaching staff in 2009.
Hunt spent one season (2004-05) with the Los Angeles Lakers following five years with the Houston Rockets (1999-2004), where he gained experience as a video coordinator, scout and assistant coach.
He has also coached on the collegiate and high school levels, beginning his coaching career at Temple (TX) High School before serving as an assistant coach at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio.
Hunt played four years at Baylor (1987-91), where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Education. He played professionally in the Caribbean and Mexico.
A native of Tallulah, LA, Hunt and his wife, Carmen, have a daughter, Braya and a son, Miles.
In his second year with the Hawks, Jent has also spent time on the coaching staff of the Philadelphia 76ers (2003-04), Orlando Magic (2004-05, including a stint as interim head coach), Cleveland Cavaliers (2006-11) and Sacramento Kings (2013-14) as well as his alma mater, Ohio State University. He was head coach of the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA G League in 2015-16.
A 10-year pro as a player, Jent was a member of the 1994 NBA Champion Houston Rockets and also played for the New York Knicks during the 1996-97 season. He additionally spent five seasons in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and played overseas in Australia, Italy, Spain and Greece.
Jent grew up in Sparta, NJ before playing four seasons for the Buckeyes, which included three consecutive NCAA tournament trips. He and his wife, Alice, have a son Jimmy, and two daughters, Corrin and Robin.
Foster spent the last four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach, after serving as player development coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013-14.
Before entering the NBA coaching ranks, Foster worked two seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Texas-El Paso, his alma mater.
Selected with the 35th overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, he played in 656 career games in 13 NBA seasons, including 33 games with the Hawks during the 1992-93 season. Foster also played for Washington, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minnesota, Utah, Seattle, the LA Lakers and Toronto.
Foster is a native of Oakland, CA, where he played in high school (Skyline) alongside Hall-of-Famer Gary Payton. He and his wife, Victoria, have a son, Greg Jr., and two daughters, Victoria and Collette.
Garnett spent the last two seasons with the Phoenix Suns as Assistant Coach/Player Development Coordinator after working with the San Antonio Spurs as a player development and quality assurance assistant. He spent 2014-15 as head coach at Union Academy in Monroe, NC.
He entered coaching following a lengthy playing career, including time with the Boston Celtics (24 games in 1998-99), and internationally in Turkey, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Iran, Puerto Rico and Slovakia. He was also a member of the Belizean National Team in 2013.
A Los Angeles native, Garnett played collegiately at Santa Clara, where he teamed with Pierce and two-time NBA MVP and Hall of Fame guard Steve Nash. Garnett was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year after averaging 17.4 ppg as a senior in 1996-97.
He and his wife, Anais, have two daughters, Amaia and Sarai.
Hill spent the last six seasons with the Orlando Magic, where he was most recently an assistant coach. He began his career with Orlando as Video Analyst/Opposition in 2012, and was later promoted to Manager of Advanced Scouting/Player Development.
He played at the University of Texas from 2006-11, where he earned his degree in corporate communications, after a decorated high school career at Southeast High School in Lincoln, NE. Following his senior season, he was named Nebraska’s Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year.
Babcock spent the last two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets as Video Coordinator. Prior to that, he was with the Orlando Magic and was an assistant coach with the Erie BayHawks.
He has also been an assistant coach at Grand Valley State (MI), and a graduate assistant and special assistant at Michigan State.
A Minnesota native, Babcock earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Wisconsin-Eau Claire and received a Master’s degree in kinesiology from Michigan State.
Babcock’s father, Rob, is a former NBA General Manager and his brother, Chris, is a player development coach with the 76ers. His uncles, Pete and Dave, are longtime NBA executives, with Pete having served as Hawks’ General Manager from 1990-2003.