Brandon Brantley, a former captain at Purdue and East Chicago native, has joined coach Matt Painter's staff as an assistant, Purdue announced today.
"It is definitely a thrill for me to come back to a place that shaped me into the person that I am today, and hope that I can be as influential to them as my coaches and support staff were to me when I played here," Brantley said in a statement.
Brantley fills the spot vacated by Micah Shrewsberry, who left for an assistant job with the Boston Celtics.
Brantley led the Boilermakers to three Big Ten titles, three NCAA tournament appearances and one NIT.
He was team captain during the 1995-96 season, when it won a Big Ten Championship and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
"Brandon understands what Purdue Basketball is about having played on championship teams here in the mid-90s," Painter said in the statement. "It's about passion, emotion, a family atmosphere and a desire to succeed in all aspects at the highest level. Brandon brings all of those things and will be a welcome addition to our staff and program."
Brantley was most recently a coach for the Eric Gordon All-Stars AAU program's 16-and-under team. He has also seen time as a coach for Basketball University, the Indianapolis Pro-Am Summer League and Ben Davis High School as a junior varsity coach and assistant coach.
Bryant McIntosh, a top target for the Boilermakers in 2014, played for the 17-and-under Eric Gordon All-Stars team this summer and got to know Brantley when he helped with the 17s group in July.
"He is a good guy," McIntosh, a senior at Greensburg, said in a text message. "Very passionate about his alma mater and coaching."
The addition of Brantley to the staff gives Purdue four coaches who hail from Indiana. Greg Gary, Jack Owens and Painter all grew up and played in the state.
"I am very excited to come back to Purdue and have been trying to get to this level for a couple of years," Brantley said in the statement. "It is a blessing to be able to come back and work with this program."
Pat Mullin, a head coach in the Eric Gordon All-Stars program who worked extensively with Brantley during his time with the AAU team, thinks Purdue made a great choice with its hire.
"I think it’s a real positive for Purdue to bring in an ex-player who is involved in three Big Ten championships," Mullin, one of the most decorated AAU coaches in the state, said. "Coached at the high school level and AAU level, but more importantly he’s got a strong understanding of the game in many capacities."
Brantley was one of the most productive post players in the Big Ten during his playing years, and with a decade of experience playing overseas, he brings experience and credentials that will help the Boilermakers.
Players like Jay Simpson and AJ Hammons will benefit from that expertise.
"He looks at the long term picture in player development and he’s got a good perspective on what has to be done," Mullin said. "The players that played for me had a lot of respect for him."
Brantley's connections in the state complement those in the rest of the state. As an East Chicago, Ind., native, he could help with players like Hyron Edwards, who plays for East Chicago, as well as other in-state prospects in the years to come.
"It certainly will be a feather in the cap," Mullin said. "This is definitely a positive they can use whenever they go out and recruit kids. Brandon has a lot of great relationships here in Indianapolis."