When an assistant coach position became open on the Wichita State men's basketball team this off-season, Gregg Marshall knew what he wanted.
With nine new scholarship players on the roster for the 2018-19 season (15 of 16 will be first- or second-year players in the program), Marshall has an opportunity to reset the team culture. He wanted someone who knows how he operates and could help return the Shockers to their "Play Angry" roots.
The call went to Tyson Waterman, who was Marshall's first star player as a point guard at Winthrop. Waterman, whose hiring was announced last week, has spent much of the last decade as the coach at Believe Sports Academy, a prep school in Rock Hill, S.C. He replaces Kyle Lindsted, who left in May to join Richard Pitino's staff at Minnesota.
"(Marshall) knows I've always been loyal to him, and I know his system better than almost anyone," Waterman told the Eagle. "My job coming in is to make sure the boys understand that sometimes it takes some tough love. It's not always going to be a sweet deal. I've got to keep those relationships going so they understand what he truly expects and how he wants things done and why he goes about it the way he does."
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Google Waterman's name, and the first story that pops up says he lost his job at Southeast Louisiana and was assessed a Level I violation because he didn't cooperate with an NCAA investigation.
But there was never a follow-up story when Waterman successfully appealed the NCAA's decision.
"That was a situation out of my control," Waterman said. "To the NCAA's credit, they made the right decision by not penalizing me for something I had nothing to do with."
Waterman understands it's a monumental step up in the coaching world to go from a prep school to the bench of one of the nation's top coaches in Marshall. He called it a "major blessing."
He's been involved on the other side of the recruiting game for years, so that will come naturally to him. But learning how to complement Donnie Jones and Isaac Brown, WSU's other two assistants, will be an adjustment.
"The biggest challenge for me is going to be making sure we stay on top of these kids since we have so many young ones coming in," Waterman said. "I've got to keep them focused and where they need to be mentally before they play the game. We have a lot of talent coming in, so we need to make sure they gel and guys sacrifice their ego and mesh well not just on the floor but off the floor."
"Tyson is a tremendous relationship builder, which will make him a valuable recruiter, and his in-depth understanding of the point guard position and knowledge of our system will make him an asset for our perimeter players," Marshall said in a statement.
After visiting Wichita in May, Waterman is excited to complete the move and get started.
He's counting down the days of his first home game at Koch Arena.
"I love the energy that's in the city, and it's a beautiful place," Waterman said. "I love Koch Arena. There's not a bad seat in the house. It's a gym that's electrifying, and I can't wait to be a part of it for my first time."