Matt Gatens is in his second season as an assistant coach under head coach Fran McCaffery. Gatens assists in all aspects of the program including recruiting, opponent scouting, practices, player development and game preparation.
In his first season on Iowa’s coaching staff, the Hawkeyes won 19 games, tied for fifth place in the Big Ten standings, qualified for the NCAA Tournament, led the conference in scoring, and won three games over AP Top 25 opponents.
Gatens helped coach five players to postseason recognition in 2023. Kris Murray was a consensus third team All-America, 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-league honoree. Payton Sandfort was voted the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, while Connor McCaffery and Tony Perkins were honorable mention all-conference.
Gatens was a four-year starter for the Hawkeyes from 2009-12. His final two seasons were 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.
The Iowa City native was a two-time All-Big Ten selection, two-time team captain, two-time academic all-conference honoree, recipient of the 2012 Chris Street Award, and voted to the 2009 Big Ten All-Freshman team. Gatens 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 returns home as an assistant coach after spending the past 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.
Gatens helped guide Drake 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 joining the Bulldogs, 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, are the parents of a son, Nash, and daughters, Noa and Vayda.