ERIE, PA – USA Basketball announced today that Erie BayHawks head coach Josh Longstaff has been named as an assistant coach on Jeff Van Gundy’s staff for the USA’s World Cup Qualifying Games in June/July and September. Longstaff replaces Ronald Nored, who recently accepted an assistant coaching position with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
“It’s an honor and humbling to be joining Coach Van Gundy’s staff and the USA Basketball family,” said Longstaff. “I’m looking forward to learning from the coaches and players and embracing the challenge that the competition will present as we prepare to represent our country.”
In his first season as Erie’s head coach, Longstaff led the BayHawks, NBA G League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, to a Southeast Division title, the team’s first-ever division title. Erie registered an overall regular season record of 28-22 (.560), which included a 10-2 (.833) clip against division opponents. The BayHawks won 17 of their final 24 regular season games, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since the 2011-12 season. With Longstaff at the helm of the third-seeded BayHawks, Erie advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time in team history.
During the 2017-18 regular season, the BayHawks ranked fifth in defensive rating per game (103.0), second in blocks per game (6.4) and seventh in steals per game (9.7). Erie dished out 24.2 assists per game, which was good for fifth-best in the NBA G League.
Longstaff was awarded NBA G League Coach of the Month for the month of January, after the BayHawks compiled an 8-3 (.727) record, which included a 6-1 (.857) mark against opponents with winning records.
“This is a tremendous honor for Josh to represent the United States,” said BayHawks General Manager Malik Rose. “It’s a credit to him and the way he works. For Josh to be chosen out of all of the great coaches available to USA Basketball, says a great deal about who he is and how he’s regarded in the game of basketball. We’re extremely proud of Josh and are even more grateful he chose to coach our team. Our players and our fans are lucky to have him. He’s a star in the making.”
Under Longstaff’s guidance, Erie produced three NBA Call-Ups – Tyler Cavanaugh, Jaylen Morris and Jeremy Evans. All three players were called up to the Atlanta Hawks. Evans, who was named NBA G League Player of the Week for games played December 25 through December 31, finished the regular season third in the NBA G League in field goal percentage (.618) and fifth in rebounds per game (9.9). Atlanta Hawks two-way guard Josh Magette led the NBA G League in assists per game for the third consecutive season (10.2), while BayHawks forward Raphiael Putney ranked second in blocks per game (2.3).
Longstaff was named head coach of the Erie BayHawks on July 25, 2017.