Bulls add to 2020-21 coaching staff
Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, John Bryant, Damian Cotter and Billy Schmidt join head coach Billy Donovan’s staff.
The Chicago Bulls have announced the hires of Maurice Cheeks, Josh Longstaff, John Bryant, Damian Cotter and Billy Schmidt as assistant coaches on Head Coach Billy Donovan’s staff. Additionally, Henry Domercant, Ronnie Burrell, Ty Abbott and Max Rothschild were brought on as player development coordinators.
Hall of Famer Maurice Cheeks returns home to Chicago after completing his ninth total season with Oklahoma City, five in his second stint as an assistant on Billy Donovan’s staff from 2015-20, and four from 2009-13. He brings more than 40 years of NBA experience to the Bulls as both a player and a coach. Cheeks has amassed a head coaching record of 305-315 (.492) with the Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers. He was head coach of the Pistons in 2013-14, and from 2005-09, he was at the helm of the 76ers. In Philadelphia, he posted a record of 122-147, securing a playoff appearance in the 2007-08 campaign. Prior to joining the Sixers, Cheeks spent three-plus seasons as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers (2001-05). During his time in Portland, he posted a 162-139 (.538) mark, accounting for the seventh-highest win total in Blazers coaching history. He helped the Blazers reach the NBA Playoffs twice, and in 2002-03, tied for second in the Pacific Division with a 50-32 record. Before being head coach in Portland, Cheeks spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Sixers, and in 2000-01 he helped guide the 76ers to a record of 56-26 (.683) and a spot in the NBA Finals.
A 15-year NBA veteran, Cheeks was selected 36th-overall in the second round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the 76ers and retired from the NBA as its all-time leader in steals after playing with Philadelphia, San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and New Jersey. He was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team five times (First Team: 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986; Second Team: 1987) and played in four All-Star games (1983, 1986, 1987, 1988). A member of the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team, Cheeks was honored by the club through having his number 10 retired. He was elected to the 2018 class of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. As an NBA player, Cheeks compiled career averages of 11.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.10 steals in 1,101 games while shooting .523 from the field and .793 from the free throw line.
Longstaff joins the Bulls after spending the previous two seasons under Mike Budenholzer at the Milwaukee Bucks. He has 11 seasons of coaching experience in the NBA, and prior to becoming an assistant with the Bucks ahead of 2018-19, Longstaff was the head coach of the Erie BayHawks of the NBA G League for the 2017-18 season. As head coach of the BayHawks, Longstaff led Erie to a Southeast Division title and a 28-22 (.560) record before reaching the Eastern Conference Final. This marked the BayHawks’ first playoff appearance since the 2011-12 season and first-ever Eastern Conference Final appearance. Longstaff was awarded NBA G League Coach of the Month in January 2018 after leading the BayHawks to an 8-3 record. Prior to his time as head coach with Erie, Longstaff was an assistant coach with the New York Knicks for three seasons from 2014-17. He began his career in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2010 as a player personnel and video coordinator before being promoted to video analyst and player development coach. While Longstaff was with Oklahoma City, the Thunder made the playoffs all four seasons, including two appearances in the Western Conference Finals and one appearance in the NBA Finals. A native of Portland, Maine, Longstaff played collegiately at Bryant University in Rhode Island, and following his graduation in 2005, he coached high school basketball in Maine for five years, including two years as a varsity head coach. Longstaff and his wife, Kerri, recently welcomed their first child, Leo.
Bryant comes to Chicago after spending four seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, the last two with the title of assistant coach. He joined Philadelphia in 2016 as a player development coach after completing the two prior seasons as an assistant coach with the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League. During those two seasons, he was also an assistant coach with the Nigeria men’s national team, which won the 2015 African Championship and competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Currently, he also serves as an assistant coach with the Angola men’s national team, which recently competed in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Bryant served as associate head coach and head strength and conditioning coach with the Bakersfield Jam of the G League for three seasons before joining Delaware. Prior to his coaching career, he played professionally in the NBA G League with Bakersfield, as well as in Australia, England, Germany and the ABA. Bryant played his collegiate ball at St. Joseph’s University from 2001-05, where he started on the 2003-04 team that went 27-0 in the regular season and reached the Elite Eight. He is married to Allison, and they have three children: Miles, Vera and Moses.
Cotter was head coach of the Windy City Bulls in 2019-20 after being the lead assistant coach at the G League’s Capital City Go-Go in 2018-19 and with the Long Island Nets in 2017-18. The Australian native has 10 years of FIBA coaching experience with Australia, including five World Championships and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Cotter began his coaching career in 2000 as head coach of the Knox Raiders Senior Men’s Team in the South East Australian Basketball League. From 2007-14, he moved up to the New South Wales Institute of Sport in Sydney and was a head coach there. From 2006-13, he was involved with the Australian Junior Men’s Team as an assistant coach and then head coach, before joining the Australian Senior Women’s Team as an assistant coach from 2013-16.
Schmidt joins the Bulls after serving the past five seasons with the Thunder as a director of quality control. Previously, he had spent two decades coaching at the collegiate level, including the 2014-15 season at the University of Florida under Billy Donovan as assistant to the head coach. Before Gainesville, Schmidt spent the prior three seasons at Georgia Tech and eight seasons at the University of Dayton. During his tenure at Dayton, Schmidt was named associate head coach prior to the start of the 2009-10 season. During his eight seasons with Dayton, he helped lead the Flyers to 172 victories, two NCAA Tournament appearances and three NIT berths. He moved to Dayton after nine seasons coaching in the SEC, Big East and Big Ten. Schmidt also worked at Seton Hall and Michigan. A native of Stamford, Conn., he began his coaching career in the high school ranks, serving as an assistant coach to Steve Smith at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, for two years (1992-94). During his tenure, Oak Hill won back-to-back national championships. Schmidt comes to Chicago with his wife, Caroline.
Domercant was previously an assistant coach for the Windy City Bulls for two seasons from 2018-20. Originally from the Chicago area, he attended Naperville North High School before playing college basketball at Eastern Illinois from 1999-2003. A professional career that started in Europe and spanned from 2003 to 2015 – including an All-Euroleague team selection in 2011 and three European domestic league championships – culminated in a return to the USA in 2015-16 with the G League’s Idaho Stampede. His transition into coaching started with an assistant position for the Maine Red Claws in 2017-18 before returning to Chicagoland to join Windy City. Domercant and his wife, Alexandra, have two children: Gabrielle and Canon.
Burrell was an assistant coach with the Long Island Nets in 2019-20 and was a player development and video assistant for the Brooklyn Nets in the 2018-19 season. He also coached at IMG Academy in the summer of 2018 and Florida Atlantic University from 2016-18, where he earned a Master of Business Administration in Sports Management. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and played professionally overseas.
Abbott has previous player development experience with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2019-20 season and the Delaware Blue Coats in 2018-19. The Arizona State University graduate played basketball professionally in the G League and overseas.
Rothschild was previously a player development associate with the 76ers during the 2019-20 season. He played college basketball at Penn, graduating in 2019, and was a two-time captain of the team. The Chicago native played high school basketball for the University of Chicago Laboratory School before prepping for a year at New Hampton.