John Groce announced that Isaac Chew has been added to the basketball staff as an assistant coach. He will join Dustin Ford and Jamall Walker.
We’ve already addressed the fact that Jerrance Howard won’t be returning, and this latest addition makes it even more official. A Chicago native, let’s hope Chew will jump right in and fill the shoes that Howard is taking over to Southern Mississippi (he was hired this week to join their staff).
Chew spent last season on Frank Haith’s staff at Missouri, where he helped lead the Tigers to 30 wins, a Big 12 Tournament title and No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Chew previously spent four years as an assistant at Murray State under Billy Kennedy from 2008-11. While at Murray State he helped lead the Racers to a school-record 31 wins and NCAA Tournament round of 32 appearance in 2010 and 23 wins and NIT appearance in 2011, as well as back-to-back Ohio Valley titles. He also recruited and helped develop players such as Isacc Miles (three-time All-OVC, 2009-11) and Ivan Aska (OVC Freshman of the Year, 2009).
“We are fortunate to have one of the top assistants in the country join our program in Isaac Chew,” Groce said. “He has a tremendous reputation throughout the coaching community and it’s easy to see why when you look at the outstanding job he has done recruiting, developing and teaching players everywhere he’s been, most recently at Murray State and Missouri. Isaac shares our vision for the future of Fighting Illini basketball and will be a great fit with our staff.”
A native of Chicago, Chew was the 1994 Public League Blue-West Player of the Year at Wells High School. He then played at Iowa Lakes Community College, followed by Avila University in Kansas City. Chew earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Avila in 1999.
Chew entered the coaching ranks at his alma mater, serving as an assistant at Avila from 2000-01. He continued his education, meanwhile, earning an M.B.A. from Baker University in 2002. Chew also experienced the AAU circuit, coaching with Kansas City Pump ‘n’ Run and Kansas City Keys. He returned to Avila as an assistant from 2005-06 and then spent one year as an assistant at Indian Hills Community College, helping guide the Warriors to 34 wins and trip to the 2007 NJCAA DI Tournament.
“This is a great opportunity for me to come back to my home state and be part of one of the top programs in the country,” Chew said. “I know Coach Groce is committed to having a presence in Chicago, and I will work tirelessly in the city, as well as nationally, to recruit the very best players who can succeed here at the University of Illinois.”
Chew and his wife, Patrice, have four children, Deijah, Jada, Patrick and Caas.