Stallings fills VU coaching slot with former player, assistant

Friday, April 15, 2011 at 3:32pm

David Cason has been reunited with Kevin Stallings.

But this time, Cason will be coaching for Stallings and not playing for him.

Stallings, Vanderbilt’s head basketball coach, announced on Friday he has hired Cason as one of his assistant coaches. Cason replaces King Rice, who left Vanderbilt to become the head coach at Monmouth University (N.J.) earlier this month.

Cason played for Stallings at Illinois State from 1993-95 and then served as a student assistant coach for the Redbirds the following season before graduating in 1996. In just two seasons at Illinois State — he transferred from the College of Southern Idaho — he led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists both seasons. He is still the school’s career all-time leader in assists per game (6.0).

“I’ve known David for a long time, and he was actually my first recruit at Illinois State,” Stallings said in a statement. “He has worked his way up in the business, and done very well at every stop. He brings a wealth of different experiences and a reputation that we’re excited to have on our staff. He’s an excellent recruiter, a tremendous on-the-floor coach, and he does a great job scouting opponents.

“We’re really excited to have him on our staff, and expect that he will make terrific contributions to our program for as long as he’s here.”

Cason spent the last six seasons as an assistant at Tulsa. Before that, he served stints at TCU, Manhattan College, North Carolina (where he was director of operations for three years) Notre Dame and Eastern Illinois.

In his six years at Tulsa under Doug Wojcik, the Golden Hurricanes compiled a 123-78 record and had four 20-win seasons.

“It was tough leaving Tulsa, but there are not too many times that you get an opportunity to work for your college coach at a great institution like Vanderbilt,” Cason, who also played with current Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller at Illinois State, said. “I’ve had some overtures in the past. But the deciding factor was a familiarity with the guys I know at Vanderbilt, who have always looked out for me in my career.”