Tennessee State's Ben Walker and Jerry Nichols were recognized alongside the best of the best as Silver Media Group released its 50 Impactful Low Major Assistant Coaches in Division I basketball list this month, highlighting the work of assistants across the country in the following 13 conferences: Horizon, Big West, Patriot League, WAC, Ohio Valley, American East, Big Sky, Big South, Atlantic Sun, Northeast, Southland, SWAC, and MEAC.
Half of the Ohio Valley Conference schools were represented with eight overall picks, however Tennessee State and Murray State were the sole OVC candidates with two assistants receiving Top 50 accolades.
See excerpts from the awards below:
Ben Walker: "Walker has had success everywhere he has been. He came to Tennessee State after two seasons at South Dakota State where he was able to contribute to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments, 2017-18 Summit League regular season championship, and a 46-24 overall record. He was also instrumental in the development of Mike Daum, a two-time Summit League Player of the Year selection and Associated Press All-American. Before South Dakota State, he was able to contribute to an impressive 20-win season at Jackson State earning a trip to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Walker got his start in coaching at Des Moines Area CC and Butler CC. He helped both programs win multiple conference titles and make multiple NJCAA National Tournament appearances. Walker was a four-year starter at Creighton and helped the team reach the NCAA Tournament the last three seasons. He was inducted into the Creighton Hall of Fame in 2010. So far, it looks like he will continue to trend toward success with Tennessee State as well as the Tigers were able to win 18 games his second year on staff after winning just 9 games in his first year."
Jerry Nichols: "It comes as no surprise that Nichols has been able to help re energize the Tennessee State program the last two seasons. Before a nine game turnaround, the Memphis native came to Tennessee State after compiling a 200-59 (.772) overall record in nine seasons as a junior college head coach at Motlow State from 2009-13 and at Southwest Tennessee from 2013-18. He won five Tennessee Community College Athletic Association Coach of the Year awards during that nine-year span. He helped guide the Motlow State program to a NJCAA Tournament berth in his final season with the program and did it again at Southwest Tennessee advancing to the NJCAA Elite Eight. His teams picked up multiple national rankings during this time. Nichols began his coaching career at Walters State CC as an assistant coach for one season before heading to Union College in Kentucky for two seasons. He also has experience coaching USA Basketball's U18 Junior National Team having coached them in the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Chile."
See the full list here.