Eastern Illinois head coach Marty Simmons has announced the hiring of Brett Putz on the Panthers men’s basketball coaching staff. Putz replaces Linc Darner who recently accepted the head coaching position at the University of Tampa.
Putz comes to Eastern Illinois after working last season as the assistant to the head coach at Indiana State where the Sycamores won 23 games advancing to the quarterfinals of the CBI.
Prior to that he had a successful two-year run as the head coach at Des Moines Area Community College where he led the team to the NJCAA Division II National Championship in 2021 and a third place finish at the national tournament in 2022.
“Brett is an energetic, up-and-coming coach that we are fortunate to have our on staff at Eastern Illinois,” said Simmons. “He has a proven track record of recruiting quality players and coaching them at a championship level during every stop in his coaching journey. I’m excited to have him join our EIU staff and welcome him to the Panther basketball family.”
Putz has been recognized on the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ 30 Under 30 List which recognizes a group of up-and-coming coaches in men’s college basketball.
At DACC he posted a 49-13 record in two seasons earning NJCAA National Coach of the Year, NJCAA National Tournament Coach of the Tournament, NABC Two-Year College Coach of the Year and Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Coach of the Year honors. In addition to his coaching accolades, Putz had five players named to the All-Region XI Team, which included Willie Guy, who was named NJCAA First Team All-American, NABC All-American, ICCAC Player of the Year and ICCAC Student-Athlete of the Year.
Putz played collegiately at St. Cloud State where he was a four-year starter and helped lead SCSU to the 2010 NCAA Division II Final Four. He finished her career as the program leader in game’s played and second in career 3-pointers (245) while ranking tenth in career steals and 18th on the SCSU career scoring list with 1,315 points.
He began his college coaching career at his alma mater coaching one season at St. Cloud State helping the team win the 2013 NSIC North Division title with a record of 20-8. He moved on to coach for three years at Wayne State (Neb.) from 2013-16 where he was the recruiting coordinator and coached perimeter players.
Putz first Division I coaching experience came on the staff at Omaha as the Director of Basketball Operations from 2016-18. During that time Omaha tied their record for Division I wins in a season (18) and reached the championship game of the 2017 Summit League Tournament. He then was on the staff at Highland Community College before coaching at Chicago State. At both HCC and CSU, Putz was involved with coaching perimeter and post players as well as recruiting.
A native of Forest City, Iowa, Putz has additional coaching experience at the AAU level with the Iowa Mavericks and Iowa Barnstormer programs coaching with those from 2010-12. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State in 2012 and earned a master’s degree from Saint Mary’s (Minn.) in 2016.