IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery announced on Monday that he has elevated Courtney Eldridge to assistant coach, replacing the position previously occupied by Billy Taylor.
Eldridge has been on the Hawkeyes’ staff the past six seasons, serving as the program’s video coordinator from 2017-19 and director of recruiting and player development the last three years.
“I have had a relationship with Courtney for a long time,” said McCaffery. “He played for me at UNCG, has been on my staff, and has a great relationship with our players. He is a tireless worker, who has tremendous character and experience that will benefit our program.”
“I am thankful to Coach McCaffery and Gary Barta for this opportunity,” said Eldridge. “I have been in Iowa City the past six years, and I know how special this community and program is. I am excited to mentor the student-athletes in our program.”
Since 2019, Eldridge and the Hawkeyes won 20+ games, have been a mainstay in the national rankings and NCAA Tournament, and won the 2022 Big Ten Tournament championship.
Iowa has finished in the upper half of the Big Ten standings five of the six seasons that Eldridge has been on staff, including placing third in 2021 and fourth in 2022.
In 2022, the Hawkeyes won four games in four days to capture the Big Ten Tournament title, their third in program history, which ties as third most in the league. Iowa finished fourth in the conference standings and won 26 games; the second highest single season win total in program history.
Iowa has had one of the most dominating players in college basketball each of the past three seasons. Luka Garza was twice named national player of the year and a consensus first-team All-America selection in 2020 and 2021, while Keegan Murray was a finalist for the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, earned consensus first-team All-America laurels and was named the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year in 2022. The Hawkeye staff has had a first-team All-Big Ten honoree four of the last six seasons while Eldridge has been on staff.
Over the last three seasons, Iowa combined to win 68 games — the fourth most over a three-year stretch in program history and most since 1987-89 — finished each season ranked in the AP Poll — something that has not been accomplished in over three decades — and won 17 contests over AP Top 25 opponents.
In 2021, Iowa won 14 Big Ten regular season games, its highest total since 1987. The Hawkeyes earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, tying its highest ever seed in the tournament.
Eldridge and the Hawkeyes have led the Big Ten in scoring each of the last four seasons, including ranking fifth nationally in 2021 (83.7) and 2022 (83.2). Iowa averaged more than 83 points in consecutive seasons for the first time in 27 years. Iowa was tops in Division I in assist-to-turnover ratio in 2021 (2.0) and 2022 (1.74).
His first three years as video coordinator, Eldridge assisted with film breakdown and compiling player development edits. He also organized in-depth statistical data and various analytic measures for the coaching staff.
Eldridge played basketball at UNC-Greensboro (UNCG) from 1998-2002 under Coach McCaffery, followed by a 12-year professional career in Brazil, Poland, Italy, Belarus, Turkey, and the Dominican Republic. In addition to working men’s basketball youth camps, he was a high school boys basketball coach at East Boston High School and Saint Joseph Prep School in Brighton, Massachusetts.
Eldridge helped the Spartans post three winning seasons, including a 20-win campaign in 2002. He was part of the Spartans’ 2001 NCAA Tournament team that won the Southern Conference Tournament title and finished with a 19-12 record. As a senior, he led the Spartans to the SoCon North Division co-championship and an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament with a 20-11 record.
Eldridge was a two-time SoCon First Team selection, as well as a two-time SoCon All-Tournament recipient. He is the Spartans’ all-time leader in assists (584) and is third in program history in steals (226). Eldridge is UNCG’s single season assists leader with 182 in set in 2002, while also holding the second (179 in 2001) highest mark in school history. His 82 steals in 2001 and 78 in 2002 rank third and fifth in a season, respectively. Eldridge is 13th all-time in UNCG scoring history with 1,329 career points and fourth all-time with 395 career free throws made. Eldridge is one of three UNCG greats to have their jersey retired; his No. 23 jersey was retired on April 24, 2002.