University of Iowa Athletics
Assistant Coach

Matt Gatens

Matt Gatens - Men's Basketball - University of Iowa Athletics


Former Hawkeye player and Iowa City native Matt Gatens is in his third season as an assistant coach on the University of Iowa men’s basketball team. He assists in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, opponent scouting, practices, player development and game preparation.

In his two seasons on staff, Gatens has helped the Hawkeyes to 38 victories and two postseason appearances (1 NCAA, 1 NIT). He has coached one All-American, a Big Ten Freshman and Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year and 10 All-Big Ten honorees.

During the 2023-24 season, Iowa won 19 games, including 10 in Big Ten play, to finish in a tie for sixth in the league standings. Five players earned All-Big Ten honors with Tony Perkins earning second team honors and Payton Sandfort being a third-team honoree. Owen Freeman became the second Hawkeye all-time (and first in 30 years) to be named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

In his first season back on campus, the Hawkeyes won 19 games, tied for fifth place in the Big Ten standings, qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The team led the conference in scoring and posted three wins over AP Top 25 opponents.

Gatens coached five players to postseason recognition in 2023. Kris Murray was a consensus third-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, semifinalist for the Wooden and Naismith awards and finalist for the Karl Malone Award. Filip Rebraca was a third-team all-Big Ten honoree, while Sandfort was voted the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. Connor McCaffery and Perkins were honorable mention all-conference.

Gatens was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 2009-12. His final two seasons were head coach Fran McCaffery’s first two as Iowa’s head coach. As a senior, Gatens and the Hawkeyes won seven more games than the previous year and advanced to postseason play (NIT Second Round) for the first time under McCaffery and the first time as a program in six seasons.

Gatens was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, two-time team captain, two-time Academic All-Big Ten, recipient of the 2012 Chris Street Award and was a member of the 2009 Big Ten All-Freshman team. He amassed 1,635 points and 239 3-pointers, ranking 10th and third, respectively, in Iowa history. In 128 career games, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per contest.

Gatens returned home after spending four seasons (2019-22) on Drake’s coaching staff. He served as director of operations his first two years before being elevated to an assistant coach the last two seasons.

He helped guide the Bulldogs to four straight 20-win seasons (95 combined wins), the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference regular season title, an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021, and to two Missouri Valley Tournament championship game appearances.

Prior to heading to Drake, Gatens was on the basketball staff at Auburn, where he assisted in travel, development, scouting, video and camps for the Southeastern Conference champions. Gatens also aided in the development of the team’s guards, including All-SEC selections Bryce Brown and Jared Harper.

Following his Hawkeye career, Gatens played professionally in France, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine. He returned to the United States to play for the Iowa Energy in the NBA Development League, but he suffered a torn ACL just five quarters into the 2016-17 season, ending his playing career.

Gatens was named Iowa’s “Mr. Basketball” and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior at Iowa City High School. He led his squad to a 4A state title as a senior in 2008 and holds the City High record for career scoring.

Gatens and his wife, Erin, have three children – son, Nash, and daughters, Noa and Vayda.