Jim Crews made Calbert Cheaney an offer he couldn’t refuse. The result -- the former Indiana All-America and Hoosier director of basketball operations will join Crews at St. Louis University as an assistant coach.
Cheaney was hired to replace Jim Whitesell, who left earlier this month to join the St. John’s staff.
Cheaney had a chance to become an assistant coach job last year with Indiana, but passed on the opportunity, saying he wasn’t ready to make the move. Coach Tom Crean then hired Kenny Johnson.
Cheaney was hired as IU’s director of basketball operations in 2011. He’s the Big Ten’s career scoring leader (2,613 points) and was college basketball’s national player of the year in 1993. He was the No. 6 pick in the ’93 NBA draft and played 13 years in the NBA. He also spent a year in the Golden State front office.
While Cheaney couldn’t directly work players as director of basketball operations, his insight and guidance were instrumental as IU won 56 games over the past two seasons.
Hoosier freshman Luke Fischer tweeted his congratulations.
“Good luck to coach Cheaney at St. Louis. It was an honor to be coached by arguably the best Hoosier ever, even if it was only for a summer.”
Crean credited Cheaney with playing a big role in the Hoosiers’ recent success that included consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances.
“Calbert played an invaluable role in the success we enjoyed the last two years and we are excited for what the future holds for him and his family,” Crean said in a university release. “He brought a great deal to us and in turn, I think he gained valuable insight into the profession during his time at IU. He has come to have a strong desire to return to the floor coaching and can do so with someone he trusts and respects in Jim Crews. He will do an outstanding job and there is no doubt in my mind that he has a tremendous future coaching at any level.”