NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For the first time in five years there will be a new voice on the Lipscomb basketball bench this fall as Bisons head coach Scott Sanderson announces the hiring of Ryan Cahak as assistant coach for the program.
The 28-year-old Cahak comes to Lipscomb after spending the last two seasons as a member of the University of Tennessee staff in Knoxville as a graduate assistant working with the likes of Milwaukee Bucks forward Tobias Harris, the 19th pick of the 2011 NBA Draft.
Ryan has all the necessary basketball knowledge to be a successful coach. And on top of that, he cares about the players, relates well to them and pushes them to grow and develop both on and off the court. His positive energy and tireless work ethic really stand out, and I know he’ll be a tremendous asset to the continuing success of Lipscomb basketball. – Cuonzo Martin, Head Coach University of Tennessee
Ryan has a great future ahead of him in the coaching profession. He has a passion for the game of basketball that will serve him well. – Jim Boeheim, Head Coach Syracuse University
I would not be where I am today without the determination and dedication of Coach Cahak. We got up every morning and he pushed me to get better at my game. He is a coach determined to see a player reach his potential on and off the court. – Tobias Smith, Forward Milwaukee Bucks – 2009 1st-round NBA Draft Pick
Ryan Cahak is a grinder. No task is beneath him. He will blend right into the veteran staff at Lipscomb because he's a team player. Most importantly he will help improve the lives of the Lipscomb student athletes on and off the floor. Congrats to Coach Sanderson for hiring Ryan. – Steve Forbes – Head Coach Northwest Florida Junior College, Former University of Tennessee Assistant
“Ryan has been with some really good people,” said Sanderson. “He played for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and has worked under Bruce Pearl and Cuonzo Martin. Those are some really good basketball genes in my opinion.
“He’s been around some really good basketball people with different philosophies on how to do things differently. I think that’s a big asset for Ryan.”
Cahak headed to “Rocky Top” to work with the Volunteer post players after a year at Colgate as the Raiders’ director of operations.
“It’s a great opportunity here at Lipscomb with Coach Sanderson and the rest of the staff,” said Cahak. “I’m excited to jump in learn from the guys and hopefully have a successful season.”
The Syracuse native graduated from his hometown university in 2008 having suited up for the Orange for three seasons under Boeheim. Cahak prepped at St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Conn., and the Bisons plan to build on his connections in the region to expand recruiting efforts.
“About a month ago we talked about starting to recruit prep schools more and Ryan played at St. Thomas Moore, so that will be an avenue that we start to research more,” said Sanderson. “He has a lot of good contacts in the northeast and that will definitely be a benefit to us as well.”
Sanderson believes that Cahak will be able to communicate well with the student-athletes and bring new ideas to the table.
“With Ryan being 28, he’s closer to our player’s ages and will hopefully be able to communicate with them really well both on and off the floor.
“I also think it will be good having a new set of eyes and someone that will see things the way we haven’t seen it. Ryan will also bring the perspective of the three guys he’s been around and I think it will be good for us to hear a different voice and the players to hear a different voice.”
Having not had a coaching change for the past five seasons, Sanderson was looking for the right person to gel with the veteran staff for LU.
“Probably more than anything, he fits with me and Coach Froedden and Coach Senters and that’s very, very important to me,” said Sanderson. “I’m excited about the things that he will bring to the table for us.”
Cahak replaces Jay Walton, who accepted a sales position with Nashville Sporting Goods in May.