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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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SJU Athletics’ greatest Black coaches and administrators

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF SJU ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND SJU ATHLETICS

As part of our Black History Month coverage, The Hawk is highlighting Black coaches and administrators who have spent time or played a sport on Hawk Hill. 

Through their legendary professional careers and the impacts they’ve each had on SJU Athletics, these coaches and administrators have forever impacted St. Joe’s sports history.

John Bryant ’04 – Chicago Bulls assistant coach

Bryant, a member of St. Joe’s historic 2003-04 men’s basketball team, which had an undefeated regular season and received a No. 1 ranking for that year’s NCAA Tournament, was a defensive rock for the Hawks throughout his collegiate career.

As co-captain during his fifth season at St. Joe’s, Bryant helped the team get to the 2004-05 National Invitation Tournament [NIT] Championship Final where the Hawks lost 60-57 to the University of South Carolina. After his final season, Bryant went on to play a few years of basketball overseas and in the NBA’s G-League with the Bakersfield Jam, now known as the Northern Arizona Suns, the Phoenix Suns’ G-League affiliate.

Following his professional career, Bryant coached multiple G-League teams before landing with the Delaware Blue Coats, the Philadelphia 76ers G-League affiliate, who brought Bryant on as an assistant coach heading into the 2014-15 season. 

Brett Brown, the former 76ers head coach, promoted Bryant to his NBA staff as a player development coach in 2016. Bryant later earned a promotion to assistant coach. After his promotion, he also joined the Nigerian National Basketball team as an assistant coach for the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil.

At the conclusion of the 2020 NBA season, Bryant was hired as an assistant coach with the Chicago Bulls as the franchise attempted to rebuild its diminished coaching staff following three losing seasons in a row. 

Roosevelt Hunter – SJU Athletics moderator and community liaison

Hunter, or “Rosey,” spent 21 years spearheading many of SJU Athletics’ community service outreach programs throughout the 1990s. 

Hunter was a constant fixture at field hockey, women’s basketball and softball games. Due to his unwavering support, the women’s basketball team created the Roosevelt Hunter Community Service Award, an annual service award presented to one player on the team. Previous recipients of the award include former NCAA Women of the Year nominee Chatilla van Grinsven and St. Joe’s women’s basketball Assistant Coach Katie Kuester.

According to former Director of Athletics Don DiJulia, Hunter was also an ambassador for SJU Athletics and established relationships with [athletics programs at] local universities. 

Hunter could be seen wearing Hawks gear and representing the university wherever he went. He passed away in 1999 and was described as a “man for others,” the ultimate image of the Jesuit identity.

Dale Hodges ’90 – Former collegiate coach

Hodges helped to lead the Hawks to three NCAA Tournaments in her time on Hawk Hill while receiving accolades such as two-time A-10 Player of the Year and 1988 Big 5 Rookie of the Year. Throughout her three seasons at St. Joe’s, Hodges also led  her team in scoring, rebounding and blocks. 

After a successful career at St. Joe’s, Hodges played overseas in Italy, Spain, Japan, South Korea, France and Russia from 1990-95. She was hired as an assistant coach for Drexel University’s women’s basketball team immediately following her overseas career. A year later, Hodges joined the women’s basketball staff at the University of Massachusetts (UMass).

Hodges made a return to professional basketball in 1996 as the seventh overall pick in the newly formed American Basketball League’s draft, playing until the league’s collapse in 1998. Later, Hodges signed with the New York Liberty of the WNBA before she was waived by the club in 1999. Hodges would return overseas to play for a few more seasons before her retirement from professional basketball in 2004.

After her retirement, Hodges was named head coach of Arcadia University’s women’s basketball team for the 2004-05 season. A year later, Hodges became head coach of Rutgers University-Camden’s women’s basketball team for the 2005-06 season. 

Following her coaching career, Hodges became the athletic director of Walter D. Palmer Charter School in Philadelphia, helping to oversee the creation of Philadelphia’s boys and girls middle school basketball leagues. In 2013, Hodges served as an assistant coach with Fordham University’s women’s basketball team helping them to a 25-8 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

James “Bruiser” Flint ’87 – University of Kentucky men’s basketball assistant coach

Flint, a former St. Joe’s men’s basketball player, helped lead the Hawks to both an A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament berth as a junior. Returning for his senior year, Flint earned an A-10 Conference First Team selection. 

Following a successful career on Hawk Hill, Flint coached for over 30 years. He started as an assistant coach at Coppin State University, then was hired by Hall-of-Fame basketball coach John Calipari at UMass. When Calipari eventually departed for the NBA, Flint was promoted to head coach at UMass in 1996 until his resignation in 2001.

In April of 2001, Flint was hired by Drexel University to take over as the team’s head coach. Over his 15 year tenure, Flint won more games than any coach in the school’s history. 

In 2016, Flint was fired by Drexel University and ended up at the University of Indiana as an assistant coach for three seasons.  Eventually, Flint reunited with Calipari when he was hired by the University of Kentucky in 2020 to join the team as an assistant coach.

 

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