Assistant Coach Chat: IUPUI’s Tommy Strine

For today’s edition of Assistant Coach Chat, we spoke with IUPUI assistant coach Tommy Strine. An Indiana-native, Coach Strine returns to his home state after stints at Chicago State, Lamar, Cleveland State and American. Some highlights from our chat below:

On why he got into coaching…

Really what got me into coaching was injury. After hurting my knee for the fourth time, I started to work in the coaching realm with the Spiece Gym Rats/Indy Heat Program. It became a way for me to stay around the game while I rehabbed the injury. I fell in love with it and realized it was my way of being involved in the game. It kind of evolved from there and has been my passion since.

On his lone, challenging season at Chicago State…

I will remember how loyal Coach Lance Irvin was to me and how great of a man he truly is. When my wife and daughter caught COVID he was the first to tell me to be with them and basketball was secondary. Besides the vast knowledge about the game I learned from him, I learned and cherished the family first approach he had. Circumstances are not always ideal but you can’t lose track of who you are first, and he helped me stay grounded in that. Christian, husband, father, coach in that order. I will always be thankful to Coach Irvin for giving me my first opportunity to be an assistant coach and trusting me in so many ways. I would not trade my season with him for anything.

On IUPUI and working for Coach Matt Crenshaw…

It is a dream come true. Working in my home state is a great feeling as Indiana and basketball are synonymous with each other. The city is amazing, one of the best in the country, and campus is a gem that many people don’t even realize. I love working for Coach Crenshaw and the way he challenges me. Coach Crenshaw has identified my strengths and let me work within those, but the best part is he identified my weaknesses as a coach and challenges me daily with those. He truly has helped me grow in this short time. It goes hand in hand with the way he coaches his players, you see guys get better because of this approach.

On turning a new leaf within the program…

To be honest, we don’t even think about the past. We are focused on the present and the future. We want to continue to build a culture that is based around toughness, accountability and development. We take a day-by-day approach in everything we do. Whether that is coaching, recruiting or anything in between, we want to truly get 1% better every day.

On what Jaguars’ fans should be most excited about…

There is a lot to be excited about but I think the biggest thing is how hard our guys are going to play. Coach Crenshaw demands it and it shows in his daily approach to everything. We hope our team reflects his desire to compete on every possession and get better every game and every day.

 

Special thanks to Coach Tommy Strine and the IUPUI Jaguars program. If you are interesting in hearing from for more D-I assistant coaches, check out our other Assistant Coach Chats.

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