By: Jean C. Dubuisson II
Jarrod Lazarus is back in a familiar state, FLORIDA that is. Although he’s not back in South Florida were Lazarus grew up, he’s back in the state he calls home. Lazarus will serve as the Bulls Director of Basketball Operations this season 2017-2018. We had a recent phone conversation with Lazarus and what it felt like to be back in the state of Florida. Here’s what Lazarus had to say.
“I am very excited and humbled to come back to Florida and represent the state. It is a blessing to be a part of Coach Gregory’s staff and the vision is to turn The University of South Florida into one of the top teams in the country. The winning culture and experience I received from Coach Davis at Middle TN State, Coach Hamilton at Florida State University and Shakey Rodriguez at Gold Coast has prepared me for the next step in my coaching career.”
Here’s a little insight on Lazarus’s coaching career :
Lazarus comes to USF from Middle Tennessee State, where he was the Director of Operations for four years (2013-17). In 2016-17, MT posted a school-record 31 victories, including a program-high 17 wins in Conference USA. The Blue Raiders were ranked nationally for the first time in program history and won the C-USA Championship. The historic team boasted C-USA Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year JaCorey Williams, and C-USA Tournament MVP Giddy Potts.
In NCAA Tournament play, the Blue Raiders upset No. 2 seed Michigan State in 2016 and No. 5 seed Minnesota in 2017. MT is the first program in NCAA history, as a No. 12 seed or higher, to record first round wins in back-to-back seasons over Power Five schools.
Before being promoted, Lazarus served as a graduate assistant at MT in 2012-13.
Prior to his arrival at Middle Tennessee, Lazarus was the Director and Assistant Coach for Gold Coast Basketball (2004-12) of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Serving under legendary head coach Marcos “Shakey” Rodriguez and Gaston “Cha-Chi” Rodriguez, He assisted the team in posting back-to-back Sweet 16 runs at AAU Nationals and an Elite Eight appearance in 2008. Lazarus holds the distinction of being the youngest member to ever win the AAU Leadership Award in 2010.
In college, Lazarus was a student manager for four years with the Florida State men’s basketball team. During his senior year in 2009, FSU qualified for the NCAA Tournament and finished as a top-25 nationally ranked team.
Throughout his career, Lazarus has helped place numerous athletes into Division I, II and JUCO programs. Most notable, Lazarus was instrumental in placing Blue Raider Shawn Jones at MT. Jones was the 2013-14 Conference USA Player of the Year and earned First Team all-conference recognition.
Welcome back Coach Lazarus, Happy recruiting trails.
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