June 15, 2010
ATLANTA – Robert McCullum, a college basketball veteran of 27 years, seven as a Division I head coach, will become an assistant coach on the Georgia Tech basketball staff, head coach Paul Hewitt announced Tuesday.
McCullum fills the position left open when John O’Connor departed to become the head coach at Holy Family University in Philadelphia.
A former head coach in the Mid-American Conference at Western Michigan and in the Big East at South Florida, McCullum also has served as an assistant coach at South Alabama, Samford, Southern Illinois, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, San Francisco and Central Florida, helping lead those schools to eight post-season bids.
He brings experience recruiting the South, Midwest and Eastern seaboard regions of the United States, has raised money for his programs to help finance foreign trips at both his head coaching stops, and has built an excellent reputation for player development. Between 1993 and 2006, five of his post players were signed by NBA teams.
“I first met Robert back in 1993-94 when he was an assistant coach at Florida on a team that went to the Final Four,” said Hewitt. “I respect his professionalism and his many accomplishments throughout his coaching career. I’m looking forward to having a coach with his experience on our staff. Our player development program has helped several of our players sign NBA contracts over the last 10 years, and his track record is strong in that area.”
At both Western Michigan and South Florida, he implemented class attendance policies and procedures that results in dramatic improvements in academic performance, earning both schools recognition on the conference level for highest team grade-point average and individual academic achievement. In seven seasons as a head coach, 18 of the 23 players he recruited into his programs finished their eligibility and graduated within five years.
“I’m extremely excited to join the Georgia Tech men’s basketball program. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Coach Hewitt and watch his teams over the past 10 years. Along the way, I’ve developed a great deal of respect for him as a person who cares deeply for his players both on and off the floor, as well as for the intensity with which his players compete. I look forward to joining the staff and help maintain the level of excitement in the Tech program that the fans and alumni have come to expect.”
McCullum spent 18 years as an assistant coach before landing his first head coaching position. He served two stints as an assistant at South Alabama (1982-83 and 1984-87) and one year at Samford (1983-84). He moved on to Southern Illinois from 1987-89, where he helped the Salukis to a 20-win season and the school’s first post-season bid in 11 years. He then joined Lon Kruger’s staff at Kansas State (1989-90), where the school made an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1990, at Florida (1990-96), where the Gators made two NCAA appearances, including a run to the Final Four in 1994, and went to the NIT Final Four in 1992, and at Illinois (1996-2000), which won a Big Ten title and played in the NCAA Tournament three times.
He was named the head coach at Western Michigan, where he spent three seasons (2000-03) building the program into one of the best in the MAC and leading the Broncos to 20 wins and an NIT berth in 2003. From there, he served as the head coach at South Florida (2003-07), overseeing the Bulls’ transition from Conference USA to the Big East.
Since then, he has spent one season each as an assistant coach at San Francisco (2007-08) and Central Florida (2009-10). In 2007, McCullum was named the head coach of the Nigerian Senior Men’s National Team, which posted a 5-1 record at the All-Africa Games.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., McCullum graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Birmingham Southern, then earned his master’s degree in secondary education in 1980 from Alabama State. He and his wife Cheryl have two children, Richelle and Rashid.
McCULLUM’S COACHING EXPERIENCE
1982-83 – Assistant Coach, South Alabama
1983-84 – Assistant Coach, Samford
1984-87 – Assistant Coach, South Alabama
1987-89 – Assistant Coach, Southern Illinois
1989-90 – Assistant Coach, Kansas State
1990-96 – Assistant Coach, Florida
1996-2000 – Assistant Coach, Illinois
2000-03 – Head Coach, Western Michigan (44-45 record)
2003-07 – Head Coach, South Florida (40-74 record)
2007-08 – Assistant Coach, San Francisco
2009-10 – Assistant Coach, Central Florida