Coach Payne, Tech men's basketball announce hiring of Gerald Gillion as assistant coach

Coach Payne, Tech men's basketball announce hiring of Gerald Gillion as assistant coach

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech men's basketball head coach Steve Payne has made the latest addition to the Golden Eagle coaching staff with the hiring of Gerald Gillion as an assistant coach.

"Gerald is a highly impressive, young coach," Payne said. "We were looking for a guy that can help take our program to another level in recruiting and in player development. He offers a great background in both areas and has made great contacts throughout his career. I'm looking forward to him being a part of our program."

"I'm very excited about the opportunity and am grateful to Coach Payne for brining me on as a member of this staff," Gillion said. "I'm looking forward to getting in the gym with the guys and working with them one-on-one. I can't wait to start helping in bringing in the best players that we can to help grow what is an already great program."

Gillion joins the Tech staff after serving as a special assistant to the head coach at USF from 2014-2017.

"I'm looking forward to coming in and brining a positive energy to the staff and locker room. We have a veteran group of players, so I want to come in every day with a contagious energy level that can spread throughout the team. I'm here to support Coach [Payne], the rest of the staff and the student-athletes, and am ready to do whatever they need me to do to help right away."

Gillion spent the 2013-14 season as the director of men's basketball operations for Florida International University.

Prior to his time at FIU, the Miami native served as the boy's head coach at Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Fla. from 2008-13. There, he transformed a program that finished 10-87 over a four-year span into a 20-game winner and district champion in one season. In each of his next four years, Gillion's Northeast program made it regionals in one of the toughest districts in the state of Florida.

From 2008-12, Gillion was the chief operating officer for Shooting4Success.Inc a non-profit organization that specialized in developing troubled youth's academic and social skills through an intense basketball program.

Throughout 2005-12, he served as the head AAU coach for Breakdown Inc. in Tallahassee, Fla. The team competed against the nation's best amateur basketball players around the country, becoming the first team in the state of Florida to ever win back-to-back national championships.

While with the AAU program, Gillion coached eventual four-year, Tennessee Tech guard Zach Bailey (2008-12) to a national title.

Gillion graduated from Florida State in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in social science. Gillion and his wife, the former Latoya Rojas, reside in Cookeville.