Desmond Oliver named head coach at East Tennessee State

Tennessee assistant coach Desmond Oliver has been named the head coach at East Tennessee State, the school announced on Monday. Oliver has been Division I assistant coach for 27 years and has spent the last six with Rick Barnes and the Volunteers.

This is the first head coaching opportunity for Oliver, a New York-native who’s career has already spanned nearly three decades. ETSU will be the the tenth D-I program that he has worked at, having previously been an assistant at Charlotte, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Niagara, just to name a few.

Former ETSU head coach Jason Shay resigned last month after just one season at the helm. All indications are that the resignation was related to Shay and his team’s decision to kneel during the national anthem before a February 2021 game and a rift that act caused between coach and school. It will be interesting to see how Oliver, who is Black, navigates the situation and how he works with the school and the local TN lawmakers who publicly opposed such protests earlier this year.


credit to East Tennessee State Athletics for the image